Novak Djokovic survives Raonic challenge to reach Rome Masters 2014 final

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.”

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