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“Rafael Nadal is definitely my biggest rival of all time,” Novak Djokovic ahead of the Italian Open 2021 final

Novak Djokovic defeated Lorenzo Sonego in the semifinals of the Italian Open 2021, as he sets up a final clash against Rafael Nadal.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic secured a three set victory against Lorenzo Sonego in the semifinals of the Italian Open 2021 on Saturday. The Serbian is just one win away from defending his title in Rome this year. The top seed had an exhausting day, as he had to battle past Stefanos Tsitsipas in another three set battle earlier.

Novak Djokovic’s quarterfinal match against Stefanos Tsitsipas was completed on Saturday, after rain halted play on the previous day. The Serbian was a set down against the fifth seed, but came back storming into the match, winning the next two sets.

Lorenzo Sonego had tremendous home support on his side during the semifinals. The Italian took a set off Novak Djokovic, but failed to close out the match. In the end, Novak Djokovic won 6-3, 6-7, 6-2 and booked a clash against Rafael Nadal in the finals.

I will try to recover for the final: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic hopes to recover in time for the Italian Open 2021 final against Rafael Nadal. The duo clashed against each other in the finals in 2019, where the Spaniard won in three sets. “I am happy because yesterday things were not looking that good for me against Tsitsipas. I will try to recover for the final,” said Djokovic.

Novak Djokovic spent almost 5 hours on court on Saturday, so there will be obvious signs of exhaustion in the final. If the match goes into the decider, Rafael Nadal certainly has the edge. “Hopefully I’ll have fresh legs because that’s what I definitely will need. It’s necessary in order to have a chance against Rafa. He also had some tough matches,” said the Serbian.

Novak Djokovic further added that Rafael Nadal was his biggest rival. The duo have produced some memorable matches in the past decade, and have achieved tremendous amount of success on court. “He is definitely my biggest rival of all time,” Djokovic on Rafael Nadal.

Also Read: Italian Open 2021 Final: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal – Preview, Head to Head and Prediction