Italian Open preview and predictions: Nadal faces Djokovic, Halep meets Sharapova in semifinals

ATP top seed Rafael Nadal collides with Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster semifinal at the Rome Masters on Saturday, with Simona Halep continuing her Italian Open campaign against former nemesis Maria Sharapova in the WTA last four. 

Elsewhere, last week’s Madrid champion Alexander Zverev looks to continue his title defence as he clashes with no. 4 seed Marin Cilic, while the women’s defending champion Elina Svitolina faces the tough test of in-form giant slayer Anett Kontaveit.

All eyes will be on Nadal and Djokovic as they square off for a record 51st time. No. 11 seed Djokovic leads their head-to-head 26-24, but King of Clay Nadal leads 14-7 on dirt – and claimed their most recent meeting on the clay of Madrid last season.

Over in the women’s draw, Halep will be looking for just her second win in nine meetings with five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova, having won their latest clash on the hard-courts of Beijing at the end of last season. The Russian has won both their clay-court encounters – including a three set marathon in the 2014 French Open final.

Watch the video below to see the two headline matches previewed and predicted!

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