Top seed Novak Djokovic set up a final showdown with second-ranked Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open on Saturday after battling past Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman in the semi-final.
World number one Djokovic — winner at the Madrid Open last weekend — came through 6-3, 6-7 (2/7), 6-3 in 2hr 31min to meet defending champion Nadal, who earlier swept past Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Nadal, 32, had lost the Madrid semi-final to Tsitsipas but the 17-time Grand Slam winner advanced 6-3, 6-4 in 1hr 42min to reach his 11th final in Rome.
Nadal has not dropped a set this week while Djokovic needed to save to two match points before getting past Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday night.
The only time eight-time Rome winner Nadal has lost on the red clay of the Foro Italico has been to four-time winner Djokovic.
The pair who have meet four times in the Rome final and are 2-2 in previous meetings.
Sunday’s match will also be their 54th meeting with Djokovic leading 28-25. (Agence France-Presse)