Rome [Italy]: World number two Rafael Nadal booked his spot in the finals of the Rome Masters defeating his long-time rival and Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic in the last-four clash here on Saturday.
Nadal beat Djokovic 7-6, 6-3 to move a step ahead for his eighth title in Rome.
The Spaniard will now face either Marin Cilic or Alexander Zverev in the final match.
Nadal had earlier stormed into the semi-finals after rebounding strongly from a set down and clinch a convincing 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Fabio Fognini of Italy in a thrilling last-eight match that lasted two hours and 14 minutes.
Eleventh seed Djokovic, on the other hand, also rallied from a set down to register a 2-6, 6-1, 6-3 win over Japan’s Kei Nishikori to cement a spot in the last-four.
It should be noted that Nadal and Djokovic have faced each 50 times, which is the maximum number of times any two players have faced each other in the Open Era.
On a related note, Nadal, who recently notched his 11th Barcelona and Monte Carlo Masters titles, can replace Roger Federer at the top of the ATP rankings if he manages to lift the title in Rome. (ANI)