• Rome Masters

Nadal and Djokovic to lock horns again

ESPN staff
May 17, 2014
Rafael Nadal dispatched Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 © Getty Images

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry in the Rome Masters final on Sunday.

Having been stretched to three sets in his opening three matches this week, world No.1 Nadal finally put in a complete performance with a 6-2 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Earlier, Djokovic took his time before figuring out Milos Raonic's massive serve for a 6-7(5) 7-6(4) 6-3 victory.

Novak Djokovic beat Rafael Nadal in their last meeting for the Miami Masters title © Getty Images

Nadal holds a 22-18 career edge against world No.2 Djokovic, and has beaten the Serb three out of four times in Rome. However, Djokovic won their last meeting to claim the Miami Masters title in March.

Djokovic played a highly tactical match in order to defeat Raonic, the eighth-seeded Canadian who fired 16 aces with a serve that was clocked at over 140 mph.

"I can't recall the last time when I was feeling so helpless in the return games," Djokovic said. "It was brutal."

Afterward, Djokovic appealed for help for his flood-hit native Serbia, and wrote a message of support on a camera lens, adding "I love you" in Cyrillic.

"This is a total catastrophe of biblical proportions," he said. "Half the country is in danger of not having electricity."

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