TENNIS • Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic will renew their rivalry Sunday in Rome in the Italian Open final. There will be an enticing women’s championship too, with top-ranked Serena Williams to face Sara Errani, the tourney’s first Italian finalist in nearly 30 years.
Having been stretched to three sets in his opening three matches this week, Nadal finally put in a complete performance with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in Saturday’s semifinal.
"Today was a good confirmation that I really played better," Nadal said. "[Djokovic] is playing great and it’s going to be a really tough match."
Earlier, Djokovic took his time before figuring out Milos Raonic’s massive serve for a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory in the last key clay-court tuneup before the French Open starts next weekend.
Nadal holds a 22-18 career edge vs. Djokovic but the Serb won their last meeting for the Sony Open title in March in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Williams overcame a second-set lapse to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and gain a measure of revenge for a fourth-round loss to the Serb at this year’s Australian Open.
Errani fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set for a 6-3, 7-5 win over two-time Rome champion Jelena Jankovic. Errani is attempting to become the first Italian to win the tournament since Raffaella Reggi took the 1985 title.
Slovakian wins stage at Tour of California
CYCLING • Slovakia’s Peter Sagan won the seventh stage of the Tour of California in a field sprint Saturday and Britain’s Bradley Wiggins closed in on the overall title. Sagan jumped to the front just after the final corner to win the 88.7-mile Santa Clarita road race in 3 hours, 24 minutes, 33 seconds.
Marquez dominates in unanimous decision
BOXING • Juan Manuel Marquez won a unanimous decision over Mike Alvarado on Saturday night in Inglewood, Calif., dominating in his return to the Forum ring for its first boxing card in 13 years. Marquez (56-7-1) dismantled Alvarado with 12 rounds of technical brilliance and vicious power, knocking down Alvarado in the eighth round and bouncing back from his own ninth-round knockdown to finish strong. The welterweight victory for Marquez, 40, likely sets him up for a fifth fight with Manny Pacquiao in the fall.
The Associated Press
Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.