Italian Open 2012: Novak Djokovoic, Rafael Nadal Back In Shape For Finals

That blue clay in Madrid. Yeah. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal hated it. They also were both booted from that tournament in the quarterfinals.

The red clay in Rome. Yeah. Djokovic and Nadal love it. They are both in the finals, the same spot both were a year ago for the Italian Open. Nadal lost that one 6-4, 6-4.

With the blue dirt behind them and the red dirt of Roland Garros ahead, the world No. 1 will face the world No. 3 for the 28th time in their career. Nadal narrowly leads that series 17-14.

Djokovic made it into the final after defeating Roger Federer, 6-2, 7-6 (4), while Nadal beat countryman David Ferrer in straight sets for his advance to the finals.

Both top ATPers have won two titles in 2012. Djokovic has the first Slam of the season, Australia, as well as Miami. Nadal won Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

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