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Nadal, Djokovic reach Rome Masters final

By The Citizen
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Defending champion Rafael Nadal is through to the final of the Rome Masters after comfortably seeing off Grigor Dimitrov in the semifinals.

The world No. 1, who battled past Andy Murray in three sets on Friday, made lighter work of his Bulgarian opponent on Saturday winning through in straight sets 6-2 6-2 in just over an hour and 20 minutes.

“I played a solid match and was very good with my backhand,” Nadal said, ATPWorldTour.com reported.

“Yesterday I played a great match and today 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.”

The Spaniard, who will be going for an eighth crown in the Italian capital, will be fresher than his Serb adversary who navigated a slightly more circuitous route to a fifth final in Rome.

The world No. 2 was out on court nearly three hours against Canada’s Milos Raonic but eventually prevailed in three sets 6-7 (7/5) 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.

“It was a big win,” said Djokovic, ATPWorldTour.com reported. “Because it gives me a lot of strength and belief that I hope I can carry into tomorrow’s final and the rest of the season.

“He played at a high level, especially on his serve, and I cannot recall the last time when I felt so helpless in the return games. I couldn’t really read his serve.”

Over in the women’s draw, Italy’s Sara Errani is through to Sunday’s final.

The world No. 11 saw off Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic 6-3 7-5 and now has a shot at becoming the first Italian winner since Raffaella Reggi triumphed in 1985.

Standing in her way is world No. 1 Serena Williams who needed three sets (6-1 3-6 6-1) to see off another Serb, Ana Ivanovic.

The American has a 6-0 record against Errani with only one of those matches — a second round tie on the hard courts in Dubai — going to three sets. But Williams, who is looking to clinch a third title in Rome, isn’t underestimating her opponent. CNN