It was only last Sunday that Novak Djokovic played a brilliant game against Andy Murray in the final of the Madrid Open, clinching the title as well. The two players are going to battle it out again for the prestigious Italian Open title on Sunday.
In the run-up to the French Open, title victory for either player will increase their confidence as they are also preparing for the second grand slam of the year later in the month. However, their focus at present will be on the Italian Open final, which could go any side.
There is something about Djokovic which makes him take his game to the next level when tested, as was witnessed against Japan's Kei Nishikori in the semi-final. Djokovic defeated Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 in a tight encounter. En route to the Italian Open final, Djokovic has also defeated clay king Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic was taken aback against the Japanese player, who had come with some solid plan to oust the top seed.
"From the beginning, he was showing that he knew what his game plan is and he came out on the court with intent, hitting the ball along lines, cross-courts, both sides, being aggressive on the return. It was a flawless first set. And then I knew that I'm going to have a little opening where I'm supposed to step in and try to use that, which I did," ATP official website quoted Djokovic as saying.
Djokovic will be aware that Murray will come out all guns blazing against him in the Italian Open final, as he will be in a mood to take revenge after his loss in the finals last week.
The match is expected to be of great quality, with both players possessing an incredible game from the baseline. Hence, one can anticipate a number of quality rallies during the match. More than that, they are mature players who can change their game plans as per the situation.
Murray might not have lost a single set in the Italian Open, but he has not faced any player on a par with Nadal or Djokovic in the competition. Djokovic will be his first major test in the final. Murray is pleased to reach the final, and will be eager to win his first Italian Open title. This is also his first Italian Open final as he had faltered in the past to reach the title-deciding match.
"A lot of the best players of all time have played, won and competed for the title here, so I'm very happy to get the chance to do that. After 10 years of kind of struggling on the clay and especially this event maybe not playing my best, I'm happy to be there," BBC quoted Murray as saying.
Novak Djokovic has a brilliant record in the Italian Open, winning the title four times, including the last two as well. Murray needs to play some quality tennis to stop Djokovic winning his fifth Italian Open title.
Where to watch live
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray Italian Open final is scheduled for 5 p.m local time (4 p.m BST, 8:30 p.m IST, 11 a.m ET ) start. Unfortunately, there is no live coverage of the final in India.
UK viewers can watch Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray Italian Open final on Sky Sports 4, with live streaming optionon SkyGo.
US viewers can watch Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray Italian Open final on Tennis Channel,with live streaming option on Tennis Channel Online.
Viewers around the world can also watch the Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray Italian Open final online on livetennis.com.