World number two Novak Djokovic will attempt to win the Rome Masters title for the third time in five attempts after the Serbian tennis star outlasted Canada’s Milos Raonic 6-7, 7-6, 6-3 on Saturday’s semifinal. The win earns him the opportunity to face off against rival Rafael Nadal in the title match on Sunday. Nadal is a seven-time champion at this ATP Masters 1000 event.
Djokovic fought for more than three hours to secure a place in his 65th career ATP final. He will attempt to win his 44th title.
“It was a big win,” said Djokovic. “Because it gives me a lot of strength and belief that I hope I can carry into tomorrow’s final and the rest of the season.
“He played at a high level, especially on his serve, and I cannot recall the last time when I felt so helpless in the return games. I couldn’t really read his serve.”
As for Raonic, the loss was disappointing but he believes that he had made the right approach.
“I did the things I wanted to do. I didn’t execute in the moments I’d liked, but I did create a lot of opportunities, which was good. I wish I had played a few situations a little differently. I think I had the right approach.
“I knew if I brought my best tennis, I would be able to give myself and opportunity, which I was able to do today. It came down to a few moments and just performed better than I did.”