Sports

Federer keeps alive pursuit of elusive crown by beating Berdych to reach Rome semifinals

  • Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns the ball to Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Roger Federer, of Switzerland, returns the ball to Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, during their match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Thursday, May 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

  • Simona Halep, of Romania, returns the ball to her compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru during a quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Simona Halep, of Romania, returns the ball to her compatriot Alexandra Dulgheru during a quarter final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • David Ferrer, of Spain, returns the ball to David Goffin, of Belgium, during a quarter final tennis match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    David Ferrer, of Spain, returns the ball to David Goffin, of Belgium, during a quarter final tennis match at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Friday, May 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)  (The Associated Press)

Roger Federer kept alive his pursuit of an elusive clay-court title with a routine 6-3, 6-3 win over sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych on Friday to reach the Italian Open semifinals.

Along with Monte Carlo, Rome is one of only two Masters series titles that the 17-time Grand Slam champion has never won.

Federer will next face either seven-time Rome champion Rafael Nadal or eigth-seeded Stan Wawrinka, who were playing in the night session at the Foro Italico.

Also, seventh-seeded David Ferrer beat David Goffin of Belgium 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 and will meet the winner of a match between top-ranked Novak Djokovic and fifth-seeded Kei Nishikori.

In women's action, second-seeded Simona Halep routed qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru 6-1, 6-0 in an all-Romanian matchup.