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Novak Djokovic piles pressure on Rafael Nadal ahead of Italian Open final | Tennis | Sport

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Novak Djokovic hinted he may not be at 100 per cent heading into the Italian Open final against Rafael Nadal after a mammoth Saturday in which he was forced to play two matches. In less than 24 hours after his semi-final clash with Lorenzo Sonego finished, the world No 1 will try to accomplish the toughest task in tennis – beating Nadal on clay.

Djokovic’s quarter-final showdown with Stefanos Tsitsipas was postponed mid-match on Friday meaning they had to continue the following morning.

That showdown went the distance with the Serbian coming from a set down to reach the next round.

Italian Sonego, with the home crowd behind him, provided a much tougher task than many imagined.

The 26-year-old forced a third set but the tiring Djokovic used his experience to progress to the final, where he will meet his old enemy Nadal.

“First of all I need to recover, I don’t have much time and hopefully I’ll have fresh legs,” Djokovic said.

“That’s what I definitely will need to have a chance against Rafa.

“He’s also had some tough matches but myself with rain delays and everything which has happened… I’ll give it my all.”

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