Titles for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in the Monte Carlo Masters and Madrid Open, respectively, raised speculation again that the Big Three including 39-year-old Roger Federer was expiring. Djokovic, who turns 34 in a week, and Nadal, who turns 35 next month, won a total of three matches over younger players on Saturday and will renew their record-setting rivalry in the Italian Open final on today exactly two weeks before Roland Garros starts.
They took vastly different paths to the final. Djokovic regained his cool after throwing his racket off the court to beat Tsitsipas 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in a grueling, rain-delayed quarterfinal that began on Friday.
Then the top-ranked Serb returned a few hours later against local favorite Lorenzo Sonego and wasted a late break and two match points in the second set of a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory in his second match of the day.In all, Djokovic spent nearly five hours on court.
Djokovic and Nadal have met an Open-era record 56 times, with Djokovic leading the series 29-27. Their previous meeting came in last year’s French Open final, where Nadal won in straight sets. It will be the sixth time they meet in the Rome final, with Nadal holding a 3-2 edge. Nadal has won the Italian Open a record nine times, while Djokovic has five titles at the Foro Italico. Djokovic fought back from breaks of his serve in each of the final two sets against Tsitsipas.
Moreover ,the women’s final will feature French Open champion Iga Swiatek against 2019 Rome champion Karolina Pliskova.