The most awaited final of the men's singles at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia is served; Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will compete to win the title of seven-day champion of Rome. The right conclusion also for crowd, insiders and media, after the problems related to bad weather and the organization of this week.
This will be the 54th confrontation between the Serb world no. 1 and the Spaniard, the eighth challenge in Rome. A rivalry that, in this final, could represent the real taste for the upcoming French Open. Nadal reached the final by overtaking opponents like Jeremy Chardy, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Fernando Verdasco and Stefanos Tsitsipas, not losing a single set.
Djokovic reached the final by eliminating rivals such as Denis Shapovalov, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman. Both can be considered the best performers on clay-courts, and the final will be balanced.
The mental strength of the two rivals will be an important factor, but also the athletic conditions. Djokovic played late into the night against Schwartzman, in a hard-fought match. However the preformances of the Serb are growing after Madrid.
Rafa, defending champion, will have the small advantage of being a little more rested than his rival. In head-to-head Nole leads 28-25. In the clay-courts challenge, Nadal leads 16-7, while in Rome the Spaniard is ahead 4-3.
In the finals Nole leads 15-10, while in the challenges in the ATP Masters 1000 the Serb is ahead 16-11. In the season Djokovic won the Australian Open final (just against Nadal) and the Madrid final against Tsitsipas, for a career total of 77 titles (14 on clay-courts and 33 in the ATP Masters 1000) won in 110 finals played .
For Nadal this is the second seasonal final after Melbourne, for a total of 80 titles won (of which 57 on clay-courts and 33 in the ATP Masters 1000) and 37 finals losts. Incredible numbers. ATP Rome final preview - Percentages: Rafael Nadal 51% Novak Djokovic 49%