As we move towards the French Open where Rafael Nadal would look to take his title count to an incredible 12, the two biggest contenders for the crown of Roland Garros – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will face off in the Final of the Italian Open at Rome. A victory here would be a huge boost to either man as they prepare for the coming challenges.
Where and when to watch
The men's Final is likely to begin at 4 PM local time and 7:30 PM IST. Television viewers in India can catch live coverage on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. For online viewers, Sony LIV will be streaming the contest at the same time.
This is the 54th time the two men are colliding with each other. The overall record favours the Serbian 28-25 but on clay, as expected, Nadal holds the clear advantage 16-7. At Italian Open, while Nadal just pips Djokovic 4-3, they are level at 2-2 in Finals at Rome. Another interesting fact is that both men currently hold 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles, the most in the history of the category. So, whoever wins will set a new record.
The 'King of Clay' Nadal is, unbelievably, coming into this Final yet to win a title this season on his favourite surface. This suggests that the player has not been at his best in 2019. But Rafa is yet to lose a set in this edition of the tournament. This maybe a sign that the Spaniard is getting his touch back and is starting to regain the kind of form one expects from him at this time of the year. His opponent though, faced a spirited challenge in the semis and had to endure a long fight.
However, Djokovic has had the wood over his long-time rival over the last year. These two met in the semi-final of this event last year where Nadal came up trumps. But since then, Djoker has gone on to beat his Spanish foe at both the Wimbledon and Australian Open Final. In other words, it is hard to predict who will come out on top. What we can be assured of is that a good match is on cards.