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Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova To Star In Rome Finals
By Anton Lagani, Lawn Tennis Analyst, Posted: Sunday, May 15, 2011 6:12am PST USA
Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova To Star In Rome Finals ROME-- At the Italian Open finals Sunday, the top two menís players; top ranked Rafael Nadal of Spain and the world number two Novak Djokovic of Serbia face-off; while the former womenís world number one Maria Sharapova of Russia meets the sixth seeded Samantha Stosur of Australia.

Head to head Nadal leads Djokovic 16-10. However the Serbian won the duoís last three matches all played this year in final round championship matches.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Maria Sharapova | Images: Getty
Internazionali BNL d'Italia, Rome, Italy
Novak Djokovic of Serbia has won 38 matches in a row.

Djokovic defeated Nadal at Indian Wells, Miami as well as last week at Madrid.

For Nadal, the Madrid loss came as somewhat as a surprise as the Spaniard had not lost a clay court match since 2009.

Djokovic has won 38 matches in a row and beat Nadal in Madrid in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 on Nadalís favorite surface of clay. Nadalís plan to attack the Serbianís backhand in Madrid backfired as standing on or inside the baseline, Djokovic would unleash a number of key backhand winners.

Saturday the seventh seeded Sharapova used her aggressive groundstrokes to overpower the world number one Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark 7-5, 6-3 to advance to her second final of the year. Despite her top ranking, Wozniacki is yet to win a grand slam tournament.

Sharapova leads the sixth seeded Stosur head to head 7-0; lasting winning in the duoís last meeting in Miami in March 6-4, 6-1.

However the two players have never faced each other on a clay court. Sharapova in recent months has mounted a spirited comeback from a reoccurring shoulder injury to rebound to a number eight ranking.

Stosur last year reached the final of the French Open, which begins this year in Paris May 22nd.

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