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Zverev to face Djokovic in Italian Open final

Rome [Italy]: Twenty-year-old Alexander Zverev beat John Isner on Saturday to reach his first Italian Open Masters 1000 final, and will take on veteran Grand Salm winner Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

Djokovic entered the final by defeating Austrian tennis players Dominic Thiem, in 23 seconds under the hour, 6-1, 6-0.

A day earlier, Thiem, currently ranked seventh in world tennis rankings, defeated Spaniard Rafael Nadal, ending his 17-consecutive match clay winning conquest.

In the semi-finals, world number two Djokovic was irresistible, hitting the ball hard, deep and wide at will, and given his current form, could very well make a bid for a second consecutive French Open title.

Zverev, on the other hand, showed no nerves in winning the first semi-final 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 against Isner, and could very well emerge as the youngest champion in Rome since a teenage Nadal beat Roger Federer in a memorable 2006 final.

Born in Germany of Russian stock, Zverev sees himself as a German through and through.

The Guardian quoted him, as saying, “My parents moved to Germany in ’91. I wasn’t even born yet. I grew up in Germany, went to a German school, had German friends. I am the most German that I can be.”

Meanwhile, in the women’s final, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina will take on world number six Simona Halep after Garbiñe Muguruza retired hurt during her semi-final contest against Svitolina.

Today’s final will be eighth seed Svitolina’s fourth of the year. Halep had earlier made light work of heavy conditions to cruise into the final with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over the Dutch 15th seed, Kiki Bertens. (ANI)