Novak Djokovic will look to secure a sixth Italian Open title when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2022 final on Sunday at 3pm (UK time).
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Since winning his first Italian Open in 2008, Novak Djokovic has missed just four finals in the tournament, and he’ll be looking to go one further than he did last year. After winning in 2020, Djokovic was beaten in three sets by Rafael Nadal in the 2021 final (a repeat result of the 2019 showcase), and only the Spaniard has won more Italian Opens than Djokovic.
The Serbian was the top seed going into this year’s tournament and earned a bye to the second round, where he beat Aslan Karatsev 6-3 6-2. It was a similar story in the third round, as Stanislas Wawrinka fell 6-2 6-2 – a repeat of the 2008 final (though Djokovic won in three sets then). Two more straight-set victories followed, first against Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter-finals (7-5 7-6 (7-1)) and Casper Ruud in the semi-finals (6-4 6-3). And despite playing the later of the two finalists, Djokovic will no doubt be happy that his workload wasn’t extended by a third set.
The same cannot be said for Stefanos Tsitsipas. Like Djokovic, Tsitsipas received a bye to the second round as the fourth seed for the tournament, but he was made to work hard for his first win, beating Grigor Dimitrov 6-3 5-7 7-6 (7-4). He was once again taken to three sets in the third round, having to come from behind to beat Karen Khachanov 4-6 6-0 6-3.
Things were slightly more straightforward in the semi-finals, where Tsitsipas was pit against Italian Jannik Sinner, who will have had the backing of the home crowd. But Tsitsipas was in no need to let the Italian’s tournament continue, winning 7-6 (7-5) 6-2. That set up a thrilling semi-final against Alexander Zverev that not many people will have backed Tsitsipas to win. But the Greek fought from a set down to beat the second-seed 4-6 6-3 6-3, putting him on the brink of a dream win.
Prediction: Novak Djokovic to win in three sets
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