Nadal and Djokovic the dream final
Men's final preview
The dream final that everyone wanted is happening: Rafael Nadal against Novak Djokovic. Nadal is out for revenge after losing last year’s final 6-4, 6-4 to his Serbian rival, and with both players showing they are at the top of their games this week, it promises to be a memorable occasion.
Nadal and Djokovic came into the tournament both smarting after being knocked out before the final in Madid. But Nadal produced fine performances to beat both Tomas Berdych and David Ferrer. He has yet to lose a set so far at this year’s Inernazionali BNL d’Italia.
Although Djokovic was taken to three sets by Juan Monaco in the third round, the rest of his tournament has been a breeze knocking out Bernard Tomic in round two before wins over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and, most impressively of all, clinically beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals.
Nadal and Djokovic have met 27 times in their careers with Nadal leading the way 17-14. The Spaniard won in Monte Carlo but before that Djokovic won seven consecutive finals, including that win here in Rome last year. But Nadal has claimed two victories against Djokovic at Foro Italico, in 2007 and 2009.
Both have two titles to their names in 2012, Nadal in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and Djokovic at the Australian Open and in Miami. With both in the form of their lives, they will want to put down a marker ahead of next weekend’s French Open. It should be a thrilling match and fitting end to the tournament.