Murray on course to face Nadal in Rome

Andy Murray has been placed on course for a Rome Masters quarter-final with Rafael Nadal.

Murray was drawn in the same half as the defending champion on Saturday in the Italian capital.

The winner of that scheduled quarter-final is due to face either Stanislas Wawrinka or Tomas Berdych in the last four. Nadal beat Berdych in the quarter-finals in Madrid on Friday.

Wimbledon champion Murray, currently without a coach, lost in the last 16 in Madrid to claycourt specialist Santiago Giraldo and will be keen to get more matches on the red dirt under his belt in Rome which is due to be his final warm-up torunament for the French Open, which begins on May 25.

His first match will be against a Spaniard, either Marcel Granollers or Feliciano Lopez.

In the bottom half of the draw, Novak Djokovic is seeded to meet Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

Both men have been doubts to play in Rome - Djokovic because of a wrist injury and Federer as his wife gave birth earlier this week - but both were included in the draw.

Djokovic may first have to battle past David Ferrer in the last eight, while Federer is seeded to face Milos Raonic at the same stage.

In the women's draw, the in-form Maria Sharapova was placed in the same half as top seed Serena Williams, who hopes to play despite being forced out of the Madrid Open with a thigh injury. The American is due to meet Petra Kvitova in the last eight if the seedings bear out.

The bottom half has world number two Li Na seeded to meet Agnieszka Radwanska in the last four.

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