Rafael Nadal
7 6

Novak Djokovic
6(4) 3

Tennis

ByTheMinTennis

Afternoon all, enough about the Royal Wedding, who's ready for some tennis?? It's time for the first Big Four clash of the season as Rafael Nadal takes on Novak Djokovic for a place in the Italian Open final. I'm Hannah and I'll have live updates of this one, we should be getting underway in about 10 minutes or so.

So. This is the first time these two have met in over a year, with Nadal making light work of Djokovic last year in the Madrid semi final. Djokovic leads the head to head, just about, with 26 wins to Rafa's 24. Nadal is once again in imperious form on clay, Djokovic is playing his best tennis in a long while, but will it be enough?

Djokovic of course made the final here in Rome last year, whilst Nadal was seen off in the Quarter Finals. Both players came through in 3 sets yesterday, Rafa against Fabio Fognini, and Novak in a close fought contest with Kei Nishikori.

Ah yes, there is also some British interest in this match today. If Nadal wins, Kyle Edmund is guaranteed a top-16 seeding for the French Open draw in a week's time. The players are out and warming up, we'll be underway in a couple of minutes.

Here we go then, Rafael Nadal to serve... Djokovic stretches out wide to return down the line and out of Rafa's reach for 15-30, and then forces the error from Nadal, pushing him wide on his forehand to set up TWO BREAK POINTS...

First is saved as the two get into their first hard-hitting rally, Djokovic sends a backhand wide. Nice second serve from Rafa and we're at deuce.

Short forehand from Djokovic, Nadal steps in and says thank you very much. AD Rafa. Long looping return, Rafa with four straight points to hold. Typically slow start from Nadal, but it goes unpunished. 1-0*.

Nice net work from Djokovic, slices a volley winner for 40-0, and a first ace of the match brings up a comfortable hold to love. 1-1. First set.

Rafa throwing in a couple of big second serves, helps him to 40-0. 105mph double fault for 40-15, but another tidy first serve is returned well wide and Nadal holds to 15.

Impressive defending from Djokovic, as he does enough with a forehand to keep the rally going, then pushes a forehand out wide to force the error from Nadal. 30-0. Beautiful. Djokovic draws Nadal in with a baseline drop shot, then follows in to tuck away the volley winner. Hold to love, 2-2, first set.