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Djokovic edges out Schwartzman to set up Nadal final

By Opta
Novak Djokovic

Rome, May 19: Top seed and four-time champion Novak Djokovic survived a scare from Diego Schwartzman to set up an Internazionali d'Italia final against Rafael Nadal in Rome.

Having overcome Juan Martin del Potro in a gripping quarter-final

After cruising in the first set, 15-time grand slam champion Djokovic – who is aiming for his fifth Rome title and third ATP triumph of 2019 – was pegged back in the second, Schwartzman coming out on top in a tie-breaker.

But Schwartzman's resistance was finally ended when Djokovic's quality came to the fore in the final set, and world number two Nadal – who the Serbian beat in January's Australian Open final – awaits on Sunday.

Nadal breezing past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 to claim the first final spot

Schwartzman – buoyed by his 6-4 6-2 victory over Kei Nishikori in the last eight – responded well, though, breaking serve twice to force, and subsequently win, the tie-break.

However, that second-set resilience took too much out of Schwartzman's sails, and Djokovic broke serve when the Argentinian sent a short hit into the net following a brilliant cross-court effort from the Serb.

And after an awkward moment when a stray shot hit a ball boy, Djokovic – through to back-to-back Masters finals – made sure to make no further mistakes, breaking serve once more before forcing another error from his opponent to secure a hard-fought victory.

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Story first published: Sunday, May 19, 2019, 3:00 [IST]
Other articles published on May 19, 2019
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