Novak Djokovic produced some of his best tennis on the clay court in Rome to overcome not just Stefanos Tsitsipas, but Lorenzo Sonego, on the same day but it wasn't without its drama.
Djokovic returned to court to overcome a one-set deficit and defeat the in-form Tsitsipas 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 on Saturday morning in a gruelling rain-delayed encounter.
Postponed because of rain on Friday with Djokovic a set and a break down, the world No.1 also trailed in the deciding set against Tsitsipas before eventually coming through.
But the tension was clearly getting to the World No.1 after he unleashed with an 'aggressive' racquet throw into the advertising board.
Djokovic already lost his cool earlier in the week at the chair umpire, against Taylor Fritz, in Rome, but again couldn't hide his passion after launching his racquet to the back of the court.
The World No.1 was handed a code violation for the incident, but the pent up frustration was clearly released after he stormed back to win the match.
But the manner of the throw, which saw the racquet fly into the advertising, prompted fans to slam the World No.1 for the act.
Djokovic sets up Rafa Nadal final in Rome
After his first win, he then defeated local favourite Lorenzo Sonego, who was also in his second match of the day, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2.
"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."
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.
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