The final of the 2019 ATP Rome Masters will see the defending champion Rafael Nadal go head to head with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The match will take place on Sunday, May 19 after 4:00 pm local time (3:00 pm BST). Get Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic live streaming options here.
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Rafael Nadal v Novak Djokovic Head to Head
Being two of the most formidable players on the ATP Tour, they have met time and again through the years. Currently, it is Djokovic who leads Nadal by 28-25, with their last meeting taking place in the final of the Australian Open.
It was a spanking for the Spaniard, who lost to Djokovic 6-3, 6-2, 6-3, in that exciting final. They also met last year in Rome, where Nadal won in straight sets.
Nadal in Need of a Win Here
The last few weeks have been fairly all right for the king of clay, but at the same time, it has also left the fans asking whether can successfully defend his title in the French Open.
He has already played in a few clay events this season like the Monte-Carlo Masters, ATP Barcelona, and the Madrid Masters. In all the three cases, he reached the semifinal, losing respectively to Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Nadal also struggled with a right hip injury in March and took some time off the tour to recover. Needless to mention, he certainly appeared to be a bit rusty but through the last week in Rome, he turned all of it around.
He defeated Jeremy Chardy and Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets, losing just two games in the process. Then, he met Fernando Verdasco and knocked him out with 6-4, 6-0. In the semifinal, he met Tsitsipas and avenged his last week’s defeat with a straight-set win.
Djokovic on a Roll
After winning the Madrid Open last week, the reigning Wimbledon champion is certainly on the right track to topple Nadal in Paris.
Through his journey in Rome, he has been in an incredible form and battled some tough opponents to reach the final. His early matches against Denis Shapovalov and Philipp Kohlschreiber were easy as he moved past them in straight sets.
Then, he met Juan Martin Del Potro in a match that lasted for three sets. The Serbian came out of it as the winner ultimately, only to face Diego Schwartzman in a similar, epic battle.
With a win-loss record of 19-4 as of Madrid and two big titles, he rightly deserves to be on the top. However, he isn’t all that invincible either. He incurred shocking defeats to Philipp Kohlschreiber, Robert Bautista Agut, and Daniil Medvedev in Indian Wells, Miami, and Monte Carlo respectively.
Nadal v Djokovic Predictions & Tips
This will be a big game for Nadal as the outcome here will play a role in his campaign in Paris. More than that, it is a matter of confidence here. The Spaniard will be eager to retain his title in Rome and avenge his loss to the Serb in the Australian Open final.
Djokovic hasn’t been all that clinical in Rome and that can very well be a deciding factor in this match. This is Nadal’s turf and needless to mention, he will start as the favourite here.
Tip: Over 21.5 games in the match: 7/10 (888Sport)