Nadal, Djokovic to face off in Italian Open final

Nadal, Djokovic to face off in Italian Open final

Top seed Rafael Nadal beat Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria in straight sets to face second seed Novak Djokovic in Italian Open final.

Nadal Saturday brushed aside Dimitrov 6-2, 6-2 while Djokovic had earlier fought his way past big-serving Milos Raonic 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, Xinhua reported.

The Spaniard earned his first two-set win of the week as Dimitrov seemed helpless before the seven-time champion's defence.

"I think I started the match in a perfect way, in the second set he made more mistakes than usual," said Nadal.

"But, talking about myself, I played a solid match and was very good with my backhand. Yesterday (Friday) I played a great match and today (Saturday) was a good confirmation that I play better, that the forehand starts to fly again, the top spins as well. A lot of positive things," he said.

He will play against Djokovic for the 41st time, with the Spaniard leading 22-18 overall but Djokovic faring better in ATP Masters finals with a 7-4 record.

Djokovic needed three hours to get past Canadian eighth seed Raonic, who fired down 17 aces to the Serb's three.

"It's a big win because it gives me strength and belief that I can hopefully carry towards the final and the rest the season," said Djokovic, aiming for a third Rome title.

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