The Eternal Rivalry: Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic Set For Eighth Rome Meeting

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have contested an Open Era record 53 matches in their FedEx ATP Head2Head adversary (Djokovic leads 28-25). And a Top 2 players in a ATP Ranking will conflict once again in a final of a Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

This will be a pair’s eighth compare in a Italian capital, a many times they have played during one tournament, violation a tie with their 7 Roland Garros clashes. Nadal leads Djokovic 4-3 in their mini-series during a ATP Masters 1000 event, that includes 4 meetings for a pretension (2-2).

Sunday’s final will be generally poignant as both group are attempting to explain solitary tenure of a record for many Masters 1000 titles. Last week, during a Mutua Madrid Open, Djokovic equalled a Spaniard’s transport of 33 crowns during this level. 

Nadal arrived in Rome yet a prize on a deteriorate for a initial time given 2004, a initial year he won a title. The Spaniard, who fell to Djokovic in a Australian Open final in January, is building in certainty after a contingent of semi-final runs in Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. The Manacor local has forsaken usually 13 games en track to a championship match, violence Jeremy Chardy, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Fernando Verdasco and Tsitsipas to pierce one win divided from his ninth prize during a event.

Djokovic is aiming to turn a initial male to win 3 tour-level titles this year. The Australian Open and Mutua Madrid Open titlist owns a 23-4 record this deteriorate and will be assured of adding to his 50 victories in Rome (50-8) after defeating Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3, following his late-night quarter-final feat opposite Juan Martin del Potro. Djokovic saved dual compare points to better a Tower of Tandil 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4 in a early hours of Saturday morning.

ATPTour.com takes a closer demeanour during Nadal and Djokovic’s 7 prior meetings in Rome:

2018 Semi-final: Nadal d. Djokovic 7-6(4), 63
Entering a pair’s initial assembly in some-more than a year, Nadal was a transparent favourite. The tip seed had won 50 uninterrupted sets on clay — a record for a many sets claimed in a quarrel on a singular aspect — before descending in a Madrid quarter-finals a prior week. And it was tough to tell how high Djokovic, still recuperating from a right bend injury, would be means to lift his level.

But a Serbian played glorious tennis, generally in a initial set, absolutely anticipating a sharpest of angles from a backhand dilemma to give Nadal fits. But toward a finish of a opening set, a Spaniard began to unleash his forehand down a line, therefore changing justice positioning and holding control of baseline rallies, heading to his contingent victory.

It was an critical win for Nadal, earning his 356th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 compare feat to mangle a tie with Roger Federer (355) for a many in history. The 31-year-old also changed within one delight of reclaiming a No. 1 mark in a ATP Rankings after dropping to No. 2 with his detriment in Madrid. The delight not usually showed Nadal’s good form, yet also that Djokovic, notwithstanding competing in usually his initial semi-final of 2018, is on his approach behind to his tip level.

2016 Quarter-final: Djokovic d. Nadal 75 76(4)
In their closest competition for roughly dual years, Djokovic rallied from a mangle down in both sets to frustrate an in-form and eager Nadal. The Serb extended his new poise over a Spaniard to pierce into a Rome semi-finals for a 10th uninterrupted year. Djokovic has now won a past 7 matches and 15 sets opposite Nadal.

The World No. 1 leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head adversary 26-23. He also changed within dual matches of winning his 30th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title.

2014 Final: Djokovic d. Nadal 46 63 63
Djokovic pulled closer to Nadal in a conflict for No. 1 in a Emirates ATP Rankings by claiming his third Rome pretension and 19th during a ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. It was a Serb’s second delight over his opposition in a Rome final, carrying prevailed in a 2011 pretension match.

Nadal entered their 41st confront carrying spent over 10 hours on justice by a semi-finals, yet a seven-time champion showed no signs of tired in a early stages. He would swell to a double-break lead in a initial set behind a inhuman descent onslaught, and reason on to take a opener in 46 minutes. In their prior 10 meetings, a actor who had won a initial set went on to win a match. Djokovic was prepared to sire a trend, anticipating his operation and stroke in a second and third sets and branch a tables with a devoted aggressive display.

He would reason Nadal to winning underneath 28 per cent of second offer points won for a rest of a match, banishment lapse winners with palliate and station high on a baseline. Djokovic’s 46 winners (including 15 from a backhand side) and 6 aces were too most for Nadal to overcome.

2012 Final: Nadal d. Djokovic 75 63
The span contested a final during a Foro Italico for a third time, with Nadal entrance out on tip to revenge a better he had suffered during Djokovic’s hands a year earlier. With a final rained off on Sunday, it was next brighter skies on Monday that a span took to court. Djokovic was underneath evident vigour from Nadal. The Serb, who had beaten Roger Federer in a semi-finals, saved dual mangle points in his opening use diversion before Nadal converted his fourth event to lead 3-2.

Djokovic immediately recovered a use break, yet was damaged by Nadal again in a 11th game, after a scintillating sell during a net, and a Spaniard hermetic a opener. Nadal was discerning to gain on his momentum, holding advantage of an increasing spontaneous blunder count by Djokovic and winning from a baseline as he pennyless in a initial diversion of a second set. Djokovic consumed 4 mangle behind points in a following game, and another in a fourth game, before surrendering a compare in a ninth diversion after dual hours and 20 mins with his fourth double fault.

2011 Final: Djokovic d. Nadal 64 64
One day after a stirring semi-final win over Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic degraded fortifying champion Rafael Nadal for a second uninterrupted Sunday in a clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final. The Serbian pennyless a World No. 1 4 times – including a final games of a initial and second sets – to turn usually a second actor (Davydenko) to record 4 true victories opposite a Spaniard.

He also became a initial actor to win 4 Masters 1000 titles in one deteriorate given Nadal and Roger Federer claimed 4 each in 2005. On Saturday evening, Djokovic had come within dual points of better before rallying to better Murray in a third-set tie-break. His strain of 39 unbroken tour-level victories following a Rome final was a sixth-longest winning strain in a Open Era.

2009 Final: Nadal d. Djokovic 76(2) 62
Two weeks on from their keenly contested compare in a final of a Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Nadal and Djokovic met in an ATP World Tour final for a fourth time during a Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Nadal served for a initial set twice, yet any time was thwarted by a Djokovic dynamic to urge his pretension during a Foro Italico.

The Spaniard lifted his turn in a first-set tie-break yet before violation twice in a second set to secure his 30th uninterrupted clay-court feat and a record fourth Internazionali BNL d’Italia pretension after dual hours and 3 mins of play. Nadal’s feat had combined stress for Djokovic, who will obey his No. 3 South African Airways 2009 ATP Ranking to stream No. 4 Andy Murray when a 2008 Rome points dump on 11 May. 

2007 Quarter-final: Nadal d. Djokovic 62 63
Back on his dear clay, two-time fortifying champion Rafael Nadal constructed a harmful arrangement to kick Novak Djokovic 6-2, 6-3 in one hour and 41 minutes. “I’m personification during my best turn for sure,” Nadal pronounced after fluctuating his Open Era record winning strain to 77 matches. “It was a really good match. We were personification during 100 percent each point. Djokovic is very, really good player. He didn’t play a bad compare today. He served really good on a mangle points – unbelievable. Every time he kick me with a serve. But finally we played consistently, and that’s decisive.”

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