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Masters Rome 2021 || Nadal Against Djokovic, A Big Final In Rome

The greatest rivalry in tennis history will continue this Sunday in the final in Rome. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will experience their 57th duel between them and their sixth in the Italian capital . Novak dominates the precedents by 29 to 27 and Rafa is the one who has raised his arms the most times in finals at the Foro Italico (3-2).

Nadal did the job first after defeating Reilly Opelka and the Serbian seconded him after knocking down the local Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-7 (5) and 6-2. . In passing, he silenced the football stands that filled 25 percent of the capacity of the central field and even allowed himself the luxury of throwing insults.

The big 18 champion offered a gray version. He served to close the victory at 6-5 in the second set and missed . He also took a step back in sudden death when he led 3-0.

All in all, he left 4 hours and 56 minutes on the track on Saturday, which will determine tomorrow's final against an opponent who has eliminated Opelka in one hour and 32 minutes. The duel will start at 5:00 p.m.

Nadal and Djokovic saw each other was in the Roland Garros quarterfinals, in the 2006 edition. Rafa was already Rafa and Djokovic was not a credited rival and he retired with breathing problems after giving up the first two sets 6-4.

The Serbian and the Spanish have met in nine 'Grand Slam' finals. Nadal dominates by five wins to four. Up to 13 times they have come across the fight for a 1,000 Masters crown . Novak prevails slightly in the set by seven wins to six.

However, it is the Spaniard who has been victorious more times when the clashes have been on brick dust: 5 to 4. Djokovic clings to the fact that he has been the only executioner of the Spanish in the finals of Rome . It surpassed him in 2011 and 2014.

To find the last precedent between the two in a TMS category tournament, we must go back precisely to the land of Foro Italico in the 2019 edition.

The last time they challenged each other on a tennis court was in the 2020 Roland Garros final. Nadal passed over his rival in three sets. After 217 days, the great classic of the racket returns.

Novak Djokovic will keep a painful memory of his last meeting with Rafael Nadal , number 56 in a series that he dominates 29-27. Then, in the final of Roland Garros, on October 11, in apparently unfavorable circumstances for the Spaniard, the world number one fell 6-0, 6-2 and 7-5. Since that final, Djokovic has won his ninth Australian Open and, with 18 majors, remains in the fight with Nadal and Roger Federer , both with 20, to end his career as the player with the most Grand Slam titles. Nadal took the Count of Godó and tunes his racket to revalidate his credit in Paris.

Both will star this Sunday (5:00 p.m., Let's go) in their sixth final at the Masters 1000 in Rome. Nadal, a nine-time champion, won three, those of 2009, 2018 and 2019. Djokovic, who took the title five times, won two, those of 2011 and 2014. The Serbian, who was set and break down against Tsitsipas when the quarterfinal match was postponed due to rain on Friday, it had a double session on Saturday. Before Nadal claimed a place in the final match thanks to his victory by a 6-4 double against Reilly Opelka , he turned the duel against the Greek, who ended up winning 4-6, 7-5 and 7- 5. Knowing who his opponent would be if he won a place in the final, he defeated the Italian Lorenzo Sonego, winner against Andrey Rublev in the other quarterfinal match.

The Serbian won 6-3, 6-7 (5) and 6-2, in two hours and 44 minutes, at 9:22 at night, almost four after Nadal's victory. He had two match points to resolve the match in two sets, but was forced to go extra in a day where he once again showed his extraordinary competitive character.


"We are prepared and I have had a very hard week. I do not think that what happens today [for this Saturday] in the tournament will have a decisive impact tomorrow [for this Sunday]. I have spent many hours of tension and physical and mental demands as well. I have a lot on me and I will have to play my best game if I want to win, "said Nadal in the press conference after his victory, still without knowing who his opponent would be. The world number three has set course after a tough debut against Jannik Sinner and a second-round match, against Denis Shapovalov , in which he escaped two match points . In addition to winning for the twelfth time in Barcelona, he comes from being a quarter-finalist in Monte Carlo and Madrid. Djokovic fell to Daniel Evansin the second round of the Principality, against Aslan Karatsev in the semi-finals of Belgrade and he left the Mutua at the last minute. The land was never the surface most prone to succumb to its charms.

If Nadal has been close to the canvas, the Serbian did not go too far either. Against Tsitsipas he displayed all his talent to neutralize four balls that would have put him 4-1 down in the third set: two drops, a dribble soon near the tape and an ace brought him back to life in a game of more than 11 minutes. The one from Athens had another option to reach 6-5 and serve. Nole put out all the fires.


"After my victory against Tsitsipas I joked with Nadal about the fact that we 'older' do not give up. I know he said days ago that he, me and Roger are older, but I do not agree with him," said a satisfied Djokovic after his match with Sonego. "We are still energized, and I laughed with Rafa about that. It is fantastic to play another final, he is my biggest rival ever and playing against him on clay is always an extra motivation for me , even after everything we went through. There is always that enthusiasm, "he added.

"At least for my part I know that whenever we play I will be excited. I am happy because we are showing that we do not surrender to the attacks of the new generation," he insisted.

Back to the old order after four Masters 1000 finals with non- Big Three stars. At Paris-Bercy, in 2020, it was Medvedev and Rublev. In Miami, Hurkacz and Sinner. In Monte Carlo, Tsitsipas and Rublev. And in Madrid, Zverev and Berrettini. This Sunday, Nadal vs Djokovic, with Roland Garros just around the corner. The Balkan has won 36 Masters 1000s, one more than his rival.

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