Djokovic and Nadal to meet in Rome final, Konta faces Pliskova

Djokovic leads his head-to-head with Nadal by 28 wins to 25, but the Spaniard has dominated on clay with 16 victories to the Serbian’s seven.

Nadal progressed to his 50th Masters 1000 final thanks to a 6-3, 6-4 win over Stefanos Tsitsipas, avenging his defeat to the 20-year-old at the same stage a week ago in Madrid.

Novak Djokovic in action against Diego Schwartzman.

Novak Djokovic in action against Diego Schwartzman.Credit:AP

The 32-year-old broke Tsitsipas’ serve early in both sets while holding his own service games as he wrapped up victory in one hour 43 minutes.

“It’s an important victory for me because I played a solid match against a good player and a player who is winning lot of matches on this surface,» Nadal said.

«Winning in straight sets against him is a very positive result. More than this is a feeling that I am playing better every week, every day. That’s important for me.»

The win keeps Nadal in the hunt for a ninth Italian Open title after he lost at the semi-final stages of his last four tournaments.

In the women’s singles, Konta came from a set behind to beat Madrid Open champion Kiki Bertens 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 and progress to her first WTA Premier clay final.

Johanna Konta celebrates her win.

Johanna Konta celebrates her win.Credit:AP

She will face world No.7 Pliskova, who defeated Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4.

It will be Konta’s second final of the clay court season after finishing as runner-up to Sakkari at the Morocco Open, as she heads into the French Open in fine form.

The 28-year-old lost her momentum after being broken while serving for the first set but fought back by taking the second.

She pulled away in the final set, breaking the Dutch world No.4’s serve twice before securing victory on her fourth match point.

“After I lost the first set, I mean, I didn’t do much wrong,» Konta said.

«It was a very good set of tennis. Equally the second set, as well. There wasn’t anybody putting a bad foot out of line.

“In the third, I definitely felt that I was able to maintain my level a bit better than her. I think that gave me the upper hand in stringing some more points together. I’m just very happy to have come through.”

Konta became the first British woman to reach the final of the tournament since Virginia Wade in 1971.


Most Viewed in Sport





You may also like...