Seven-time champion Rafael Nadal and defending champion Alexander Zverev will meet for the fifth time when they face off in the men’s singles final at the 2018 Italian Open in Rome.
The German player recovered from an early break in the second set to beat Marin Cilic 7-6(13), 6-4. He is aiming for his third title in three weeks after lifting trophies in Munich and Madrid.
Date: May 20, 2018
Match time: Not before 4 PM local time / 10 AM EDT – New York, Montreal / 3 PM BST – United Kingdom / 4 PM CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / midnight AEST – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.
It will be a tough one. Sascha is playing great, winning a lot of matches in a row. Tomorrow I need to be ready to keep playing my best and that’s what I’m going to try.
I’m definitely not the favourite in this matchup, but I’ll be ready for it and I’ll do everything I can to recover. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.
We’ve had some very tough matches. In Indian Wells, I lost with a match point and in Australia we went five sets. Obviously we had some great battles and I’ve always enjoyed playing him. He’s the greatest of all time on clay, but hopefully I can prepare the best I can for tomorrow.
Rafa leads the head-to-head against the German 4-0, and has won all five of the sets they’ve contested on clay, including a three-set victory in a Davis Cup quarter-final between Spain and Germany earlier this year.
|2018||ESP vs. GER WG QF
61 64 64
|2017||ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo
|Outdoor Clay||R16||Rafael Nadal|
|Outdoor Hard||R32||Rafael Nadal|
|2016||ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells
|Outdoor Hard||R16||Rafael Nadal|
Rafa is the best clay-courter of the Open Era with a 407-36 record (.919), and he improved his record in Rome semi-finals to 10-0 with a straight-set win over his most frequent opponent Novak Djokovic on Saturday.
The King of Clay currently holds the record for the most ATP Masters 1000 titles (31, one more than second-place Djokovic) and will be looking for a 32nd against Zverev.
Rafa, who won both Monte-Carlo and Barcelona for the 11th time each this year, needs to win the Masters title to reclaim the world number one spot from Roger Federer.
Good luck & Vamos Rafa!
Source: ATP World Tour