Novak Djokovic is bidding to win his fifth Rome Masters title after a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Casper Ruud in their semi-final on Sunday afternoon.
The world number one is currently tied with Rafael Nadal on 35 Masters 1000 titles, but the Serbian now has a glorious chance to overtake the Spaniard in Monday's final where he will face the winner of Denis Shapovalov v Diego Schwartzman. Nadal was stunned by Schwartzman in the quarter-finals in straight sets. and Djokovic has never lost to either Shapovalov or Schwartzman in his career.
Djokovic came out on top in a very tight, high-quality first set in windy conditions after going a break down to the Norwegian clay-court specialist in game three.
After the 21-year-old, who was making his maiden Masters 1000 semi-final appearance, squandered two set points in the tenth, the Serb broke back to make it 5-5. Into the 12th and 6-5 up, Djokovic capitalised on his first set point to take it after one hour and ten minutes.
The second set was more routine for Djokovic as he forced the world number 34 into saving six break points across games two and three. Djokovic seized his opportunity to go a break up at 3-2 in the sixth. He never looked back after that as he dispatched his first of three match points to take it 6-3.