Second seed Novak Djokovic enters final after epic Raonic struggle
Rome: Novak Djokovic reached the Rome Masters final on Saturday after coming through a tough semi-final with Milos Raonic to beat the Canadian 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3.
Novak Djokovic reacts after beating Milos Raonic in the semi-finals yesterday. Pic/AFP.
Djokovic, the number two seed, will face world number one Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final should the Spaniard defeat Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the second semi-final. Djokovic had ousted David Ferrer 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the quarter-finals while Nadal came through a tough clash with British number one Andy Murray on Friday.
Djokovic, who took exactly three hours to rack up his second win against Montenegrin-born Raonic in as many encounters, has won the Rome Masters twice, in 2008 and 2011. Nadal, meanwhile, is in the hunt for an eighth win in the Italian capital.
Earlier, Sara Errani beat Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 7-5 to book her place in the women’s final and maintain her hopes of becoming the first Italian woman to win the tournament in 29 years. Errani, seeded 10, claimed her second consecutive semi-final place on Friday when she produced a stunning upset in overcoming China’s number two seed Li Na 6-3, 4-6, 6-2.
Jankovic had accounted for Agnieszka Radwanska, the third seed from Poland, 6-4, 6-4 to reach the last four. But the Serbian sixth seed was never in the match against 2012 French Open finalist Errani, who will appear in Sunday’s final for the first time in her career.
“It was quite difficult out there, Sara played a great match and credit to her,” said Jankovic.
2: The number of times Novak Djokovic has beaten Canada’s Milos Raonic in their previous two meetings