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Djokovic to meet Nadal in Italian Open final

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.
In women's action, Britain's Johanna Konta fought back from a set down to seal victory on her fourth match point against Kiki Bertens to reach the final.
Konta, ranked 42, came through 5-7, 7-5, 6-2 against sixth seed Bertens, winner of the Madrid Open last week, after almost three hours on the red clay of Rome.
Dutchwoman Bertens had advanced to the semifinals after world number one Naomi Osaka of Japan retired with a hand injury before their match Friday.
Konta next meets either Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova or Greek qualifier Maria Sakkari, who beat the British number one on clay in the final of the Moroccan Open earlier this month.


© 2019 AFP
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