Djok v Fed final, Sharapova hoping for hat-trick of Rome titles
In the last big tournament before the French Open, four names remain across the Men and Women’s draw of the Rome Masters event as they battle it out for title success and confidence.
All-time great Roger Federer will meet current best player in the world and defending champion Novak Djokovic, after double winner Maria Sharapova’s final battle with Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro.
Novak Djokovic v Roger Federer
This will amazingly be the 39th meeting between two of the greatest ever stars of the sport, and the older Swiss holds the slight edge in head-to-heads, with a 20-18 record. Federer is also 4-3 up on clay courts against Djokovic, and therefore represents a tempting 12/5 price with Coral for victory.
However, in their only two matches against each other at the Rome Open, the Serb has triumphed, both in the semi-finals. He is the odds-on favourite at 1/3 to win once more, and thus claim his fourth title here.
Federer, a three-time runner-up at the Rome Open, though, will be desperate to gain momentum ahead of the French Open and show that he still has what it takes to compete with the best. He will give it his all and is yet to drop a set this tournament (Djokovic has lost three), so is 9/2 for a close 2-1 win.
The world number one Serb, however, looked far more assured in his semi with David Ferrer, beating the Spaniard 6-4 6-4, and is 11/4 to defeat old foe Federer in three sets.
Maria Sharapova v Carla Suarez Navarro
In the first match of the day in Italy’s capital, two-time Rome Open champion Sharapova is the hot favourite to claim a hat-trick of titles, and her first since 2013, with a heavy odds-on price of 1/4.
The Russian has certainly looked promising this competition, as she is yet to drop a set too. She also has a 3-1 career record over her Spanish opponent, with all of her wins being 2-0, so she is a more enticing 4/6 shout for that scoreline in her favour once more.
Navarro, meanwhile, has done well to get to this stage, having seen off top-ranked opposition Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard, as well as Britain’s Heather Watson. She is a 3/1 chance to win her first Rome Open title, and 11/2 to do so 2-1.