Djokovic, Halep enter Italian Open finals

Rome: Top seed Simona Halep overcame Spaniard Garbine Muguruza 6-3 4-6 6-4 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final and stay on course for her third straight WTA title.

Novak Djokovic was made to work hard by Casper Ruud in blustery conditions before the world number one got past the unseeded Norwegian 7-5 6-3 on Sunday to reach the Italian Open final.

Djokovic had to save two set points in the first set before finding his groove to reach his 10th title clash in Rome and remain on course to win his 36th ATP Masters 1000 crown and overtake Rafa Nadal on the all-time list.

He will face Diego Schwartzman in Monday’s final after the Argentine held his nerve to beat Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov 6-4 5-7 7-6 (4) in a dramatic second semi-final.

It was a tough two-setter today. It was over two hours for two sets, said Djokovic, who equalled Nadal’s tally of Masters 1000 titles by winning the Western & Southern Open last month.

Halep, who skipped the U.S. Open amid the COVID-19 pandemic, won the Dubai title before the Tour was suspended and lifted the Prague crown on its resumption.

The Romanian, who is looking to extend her winning run to 14 matches and seal a first title in Rome, will next face Karolina Pliskova after the Czech beat compatriot Marketa Vondrousova 6-2 6-4 in the second semi-final.

Halep, the 2018 Roland Garros champion cruised through the opening set and was on course for an easy win but Muguruza, who took a medical timeout for a back issue, battled back from 2-4 down to win the second set and force a decider.