'This is sport': Novak Djokovic's 'class' moment with vanquished rival

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Novak Djokovic (pictured right) clapping his opponent off and (pictured left) hugging Lorenzo Sonego.
Novak Djokovic (pictured right) shared a classy moment with opponent Lorenzo Sonego (pictured left) after their three-set match in Rome. (Images: Getty Images/Tennis TV)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic showcased some of his best fighting qualities at Rome on the weekend across two breathtaking matches but he still found time to share a classy moment with his rival at the end of the day.

Djokovic overcome not just Stefanos Tsitsipas, but Lorenzo Sonego, on the same day after a rain halted Friday forced the the World No.1 to spend four and a half sets on court in one day.

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While the day wasn't without its drama, with Djokovic losing his cool and throwing his racquet, the World No.1 ended the day with a classy moment with vanquished rival Sonego.

Sonego, the Italian tennis star, was enjoying the vast majority of support from the crowd as he put on a brilliant performance to push Djokovic to a deciding set.

But Djokovic produced some vintage clay court tennis, after a 90 minute second set, and ran away with the match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.

However, the World No.1 shared a special moment with the Italian at the net.

With the sky starting to dim, Djokovic embraced Sonego in front of the vociferous crowd and chatted to the Italian with both players exhausted having both played two matches on Saturday.

Fans were quick to praise Djokovic for the classy moment with the 26-year-old Turin star after a special tournament, which included a victory over Andrey Rublev in the quarter-final.

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Djokovic sets up Rafa Nadal final in Rome

Djokovic suffered a tough meltdown earlier in the day when he launched his racquet into the advertising barrier, but was able to overcome both opponents on a gruelling day.

"I haven't played too many matches this year, so I don't feel too exhausted," Djokovic said. "I'm pumped to get another win today."

Rafa Nadal, meanwhile, kept his time on court to a minimum by ending the surprising clay-court run of big-serving American Reilly Opelka 6-4 6-4 in his semi-final, putting him within one victory of a record-extending 10th title at the Foro Italico.

The finalists will meet for the 57th time in all on Sunday and for the sixth time in a Rome final.

Nadal holds the edge with three wins to Djokovic's two in previous finals, while Djokovic is after a sixth Italian Open title.

The pair have shown once again this week why they have dominated the sport for so long with their physical and mental fortitude.

with AAP

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