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Morning Roundup: Nadal, Djokovic advance; Federer and Osaka withdraw injured

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Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco during their quarterfinal match at the Italian Open in Rome on Friday. [AP Photo/Andrew Medichini]
Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Fernando Verdasco during their quarterfinal match at the Italian Open in Rome on Friday. [AP Photo/Andrew Medichini]

Rafael Nadal put away Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-0 at the Italian Open in Rome on Friday to reach the semifinals after conceding only six games in his six sets of tennis at the tournament.

Nadal has fallen in the semifinals of his last three tournaments — all on his favored clay. And next up is Stefanos Tsitsipas, whom Nadal lost to in Madrid last week.

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic outlasted Juan Martin del Potro 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4 in an entertaining slugfest that lasted more than three hours and finished after 1 a.m. local time at the Foro Italico.

Djokovic next faces Diego Schwartzman, who beat Kei Nishikori for the first time in four tries, 6-4, 6-2, to reach his first Masters Series semifinal.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer and top-ranked Naomi Osaka withdrew before their quarterfinals because of injuries.

Federer reported a right leg injury ahead of his match against Tsitsipas, and Osaka said she'd mysteriously woken up with a sore right hand ahead of her scheduled match against Kiki Bertens.

Tennessee's Williams staying in NBA Draft

Grant Williams, the two-time Southeastern Conference player of the year, says he's staying in the NBA Draft rather than returning for his senior season at Tennessee.

The consensus All-American announced in April that he would test his draft status before making a final decision. The 6-foot-7 junior graduated from Tennessee last week after averaging 18.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Davidson to run Rangers, leaves Blue Jackets

John Davidson is going back to the New York Rangers organization he has been synonymous with for much of his hockey career.

Davidson was hired as team president Friday hours after leaving his post with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He returns to New York where he spent parts of eight seasons as a Rangers goaltender and was a TV analyst for almost a decade.

Ibrahimovic suspended 2 games by MLS

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been suspended two games by Major League Soccer's disciplinary committee for his conduct during last weekend's game against New York City FC.

The league said Friday that Ibrahimovic's actions against NYCFC goalkeeper Sean Johnson constituted violent conduct. Ibrahimovic was bumped in the back by Johnson following a missed shot in the 87th minute of a 2-0 loss Saturday. Ibrahimovic grabbed Johnson by the neck with his right hand before both players fell.

Wire reports

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