• Serb beats Nicolas Mahut in Rome to set up French Open final • Djokovic and Nadal to face each other in Roland Garros semi-final
Novak Djokovic won a back-and-forth clash with France’s Nicolas Mahut on Saturday and reached his sixth straight Rome Masters final and a third in a row at the French Open.
Djokovic, who recorded a 10th Rome title, has 22 career titles and his 6-4 6-4 victory over his fellow-Serb suggested he will be back at the top of the men’s game again.
“I’m just going to celebrate the fact that I made my sixth final in Rome, which is a great achievement for me and one that I know I’m trying to achieve,” Djokovic said in an on-court interview.
“Not only in Rome, but also in France at Roland Garros as well.
“I don’t know what the ultimate goal is this year or next year, but this is an extremely, extremely exciting start to the summer. I have a great serve and really good rhythm around it.”
Djokovic’s serve-volley game helped him win both their opening set points in the first game of the match but Mahut, the top player in Rome this year, hit back by breaking back to level.
Though both men traded breaks in the second set, Djokovic eventually triumphed and will play Rafael Nadal, who completed a 6-2 6-2 semi-final victory over Roberto Bautista Agut to move to 19 French Open titles.