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Nadal beats Djokovic as rivalry resumes in Rome semifinals

AP
Published 7:49 a.m. ET May 19, 2018 | Updated 12:36 p.m. ET May 19, 2018

ROME (AP) — Rafael Nadal was challenged in the first set by Novak Djokovic before pulling away for a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win to reach the Italian Open final on Saturday.

In their 51st meeting but first in more than a year, Nadal’s court coverage eventually proved too much to handle for Djokovic, who is still regaining his form from a persistent right elbow injury.

“That was a tough battle, a good level of tennis, a combination of good tactics and great shots from both of us,” Nadal said.

In the women’s tournament, Elina Svitolina returned to the final with a comfortable 6-4, 6-3 win over Anna Kontaveit.

The first set alone of Nadal-Djokovic made the latest installment of the Open era’s most prolific rivalry worth watching….

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