Rafael Nadal sent a clear message to Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Sonego as he reaching the Italian Open final in emphatic fashion. The Spaniard is one step away from winning his second clay tournament of the season after booking his place in Sunday’s finale with a 6-4 6-4 victory over big-serving American Reilly Opelka.
One break in each set was enough for the world No 3 to make it through to Sunday’s showpiece event.
Nadal set about learning Opelka’s serving patterns early on and he never let the 23-year-old dominate with his monstrous strokes.
The Spaniard is well-versed in trading blow for blow with huge forehands and he came out on top during most of the battles.
Nadal will look for his 10th Italian Open title tomorrow – but he must wait for the result of Djokovic vs Sonego to discover his opponent.
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