Novak Djokovic in 10th Italian Open final; Rafael Nadal bows out
For the first time on Sunday a maximum of 1,000 people were authorised in the stands at Foro Italico
Top men's seed Novak Djokovic advanced to the final of the Italian Open for the 10th time on Sunday with a straight sets win over Casper Ruud. The World No. 1 came through 7-5, 6-3 to advance to the final of the clay-court tournament he has won four times.
Record in sight
Djokovic will also bid for a record 36th Masters title, being currently tied on 35 with Rafael Nadal who fell in the quarter-finals. Djokovic, 33, next plays either Argentine eighth-seed Diego Schwartzman or Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the 12th seed.
Rafael Nadal after losing a point against Diego Schwartzman during the quarter-final of the Italian Open in Rome on Saturday. Pics/AFP
Schrwartzman shocked nine-time Rome winner Nadal, the two-time defending champion on Saturday. Eight-seeded Schwartzman meted out a punishing 6-2, 7-5 loss in Nadal's final warm-up before his bid for a 13th French Open, and record-equalling 20th Grand Slam in just over a week.
Djokovic was pushed in his first meeting with 34th-ranked Ruud, but knew how to tighten his game at key moments of an intense match, to the delight of the fans. For the first time on Sunday a maximum of 1,000 people were authorised in the stands at Foro Italico.
Halep in final
Meanwhile, Simona Halep ousted Garbine Muguruza in three sets on Sunday to advance to her third Italian Open final in front of the first set of spectators allowed in the stands at this year's tournament. A small number of fans saw top seed Halep hold off a late Muguruza fightback to advance 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in just over two hours, in a battle of former French Open champions.
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