Novak Djokovic has 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies to his credit and 53 appearances in the Finals. But with zero trophy wins on clay this year, he was under pressure to start winning. The defending champion, here at the Italian Open in Rome, started his campaign against American Taylor Fritz. Djokovic had an epic five set encounter against Fritz not too long ago at the Australian Open. But, Fritz is not that great a player on clay, and it showed. Djokovic wrapped up the match in straight sets 6-3, 7-6.
His second match was against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain. Fokina, the twenty-one year old had been playing some good matches on clay this season and was expected to put up some resistance against Djokovic, but that wasn’t the case and he was swept away 6-2 6-1. In the Quarters he was faced with Gen-X star, Stefanos Tsitsipas. This match Djokovic knew he had to win if he wanted people to consider him a real contender at the French Open. And win he did, a great three set match, a great win for Djokovic. He won 4-6 7-5 7-5.
The Semi-finals provided another stern test for Djokovic as he faced the high flying Italian Lorenzo Sonego. Sonego had recently secured the Sardegna trophy and was playing some quality tennis. Against Djokovic he fought hard too, but in the end Djokovic prevailed 6-3 6-7 6-2.
Novak Djokovic shares inspirational message with fans
Djokovic was one set and a break up against Sonego, but couldn’t close out the match as the Italian made a strong comeback to claim the second set. The five time Champion here in Rome Djokovic came back to take the third set and seal the match, 6-3 6-7 6-2, in 2 hours and 43 minutes. After the match he posted the words, “Fight like your life depends on it !”
With that win, Djokovic set up a date with his old enemy, the King of Clay, Rafael Nadal. Djokovic has met Nadal 56 times on the tour, and he leads the head to head 29-27. But Nadal leads Djokovic on clay 18-7. A mouth watering contest awaits us in the Finals of the Italian Open 2021. Novak Djokovic shows heart in his comeback win in the Semis. Now he faces Rafael Nadal in the Finals of the Italian Open 2021.