World number one Rafael Nadal had to endure three three-set matches earlier in the tournament but his semifinal victory at Rome Masters 2014 only took two sets. The seven-time champion cruised past Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 6-2, 6-2 to reach the ATP Masters 1000 final and will face off against world number two Novak Djokovic.
“I think I started the match in a perfect way, in the second set he made more mistakes than usual,” Nadal said. “But, talking about myself, I played a solid match and was very good with my backhand. Yesterday I played a great match and today was a good confirmation that I play better, that the forehand starts to fly again, the top spins as well. A lot of positive things.”
This is Nadal’s 40th Masters final and he will attempt to win his 28th. He is also seeking to win an unprecedented eighth trophy at the Foro Italico. He won the titles in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Nadal leads 22-18 against Djokovic but the latter has won their past three meetings, all contested in hardcourts.
“Djokovic always plays unbelievable, he’s a complete player and has all the shots,” Nadal said. “If I want to have chances to win I have to play my best tennis, be aggressive. It will be a very tough match. That’s the only way. I have to be ready for the competition.”