Djokovic to meet Nadal for 54th time with Rome title at stake

Novak Djokovic can win a second title in a week after reaching the Rome finals
Novak Djokovic can win a second title in a week after reaching the Rome finals  

Rome (AFP) - Top seed Novak Djokovic set up a final showdown with second-ranked Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open on Saturday after battling past Argentina's Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final.

World number one Djokovic -- winner at the Madrid Open last weekend -- came through 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 in 2hr 31min to meet defending champion Nadal, who earlier swept past Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Nadal, 32, had lost the Madrid semi-final to Tsitsipas but the 17-time Grand Slam winner advanced 6-3, 6-4 in 1hr 42min to reach his 11th final in Rome.

Nadal has not dropped a set this week while Djokovic needed to save to two match points before getting past Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday night.

The only time eight-time Rome winner Nadal has lost on the red clay of the Foro Italico has been to four-time winner Djokovic.

The pair who have meet four times in the Rome final and are 2-2 in previous meetings.

Sunday's match will also be their 54th meeting with Djokovic leading 28-25.


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