It has been a rollercoaster year for Novak Djokovic – 2020 started off with a superb run to the title at the Australian Open, then the unfortunate Adria Tour controversy happened, and during all that he went 26 matches unbeaten before, more recently, he was disqualified from the US Open for inadvertently hitting a line judge with the ball.

And keeping in line with the topsy-turvy nature of the year he has been having, he was referred to as “Federer” by the chair umpire during his quarter-final match at the Italian Open. Of course, it was an honest mistake by the umpire that was corrected immediately.

Djokovic defeated Dominik Koepfer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals in Rome.

Djokovic dropped a set before fighting off Koepfer to reach the semi-finals of the Italian Open on Saturday.

The world No 1 needed more than two hours to see of the 97th-ranked German 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the final warm-up tournament on clay before the French Open.

Two weeks after his US Open default, the Serb again showed signs of frustration, throwing his racket after a lost service game, with shouts of anger resounding in the silence of the empty Central Court of Foro Italico.

Djokovic was broken four times in a match which took more than two hours before advancing to his 15th consecutive semi-final in Rome, where he has won four times.

The 33-year-old next plays Norway’s Casper Ruud who earlier battled past Italian fourth seed Matteo Berrettini 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

(With AFP inputs)