Tennis

Nadal bests Djokovic to enter final

Closer to glory: Elina Svitolina celebrates her win over Anett Kontaveit.  

Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 6-3 to reach the Italian Open final here on Saturday.

Nadal, who is now 10-0 in semifinals at the Foro Italico, broke loose after a tight first set lasting well over an hour to edge out Djokovic in their 51st career meeting in a rivalry stretching back to 2006.

Meanwhile in the women’s section, holder Elina Svitolina dominated Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-3 in 74 minutes to reach a second straight final.

The first meeting between Svitolina and Kontaveit featured four breaks of serve in the first eight games, with the fourth-seeded defending champion snatching the early lead after 39 minutes.

Svitolina moved to 3-1 in the second set, reached 5-3 with an ace and served out victory a game later on her second match point.

“I’m very proud of myself already that I reached the final. You know, it was really tough, from the beginning, from the first match,” World No. 4 Svitolina said.

“I work for these kind of matches, I work on it every day. When my opponent tries to hit everything, I have an answer.

“Today, I think I was very solid with my performance. And this was really, really good. I’m very proud of this, that I could stay really consistent all match.”

The results:

Men: Semifinals: Rafael Nadal bt Novak Djokovic 7-6(4), 6-3. Quarterfinals: Djokovic bt Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 6-3; Alexander Zverev bt David Goffin 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Women: Semifinals: Elina Svitolina bt Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 6-3. Quarterfinals: Simona Halep bt Caroline Garcia 6-2, 6-3.

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Printable version | May 11, 2021 1:42:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/nadal-bests-djokovic-to-enter-final/article23938377.ece

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