Djokovic and Nadal to meet in Italian Open final

Rome, May 16 (AP): Maybe the new generation of tennis players isn’t quite so ready to end the eras of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal.
Titles for Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev in the Monte Carlo Masters and Madrid Open, respectively, raised speculation again that the Big Three including 39-year-old Roger Federer was expiring. Well, again, not yet.
Djokovic, who turns 34 in a week, and Nadal, who turns 35 next month, won a total of three matches over younger players on Saturday and will renew their record-setting rivalry in the Italian Open final on Sunday exactly two weeks before Roland Garros starts.
Rafa and I had a little laugh today in the locker room after I won against Tsitsipas, Djokovic said. We kind of joked around about, you know, that the old guys are still not giving up. (Nadal) said somewhere a few days ago that Roger, him and I are old. But I disagree with him. We’re showing some different, fresh energy. They took vastly different paths to the final.
Djokovic regained his cool after throwing his racket off the court to beat Tsitsipas 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in a grueling, rain-delayed quarterfinal that began on Friday. Then the top-ranked Serb returned a few hours later against local favorite Lorenzo Sonego and wasted a late break and two match points in the second set of a 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-2 victory in his second match of the day. In all, Djokovic spent nearly five hours on court.
First of all I need to recover. I don’t have much time, Djokovic said. Hopefully I’ll have fresh legs, because that’s what I’ll need to play against Rafa. Nadal kept his time on court to a minimum by ending the surprising clay-court run of big-serving American Reilly Opelka by 6-4, 6-4.

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