By Richard Allen
ROME (Reuters)- Despite losing three finals in a row to Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal is not running scared of the Serbian at the Rome Masters.
Nadal has labeled Djokovic the "favorite" in Rome after the Serb improved his winning streak for the year to 35 matches but the Spaniard is keen to bring that run to an end.
Spaniard Nadal, who made sure of retaining his world number one status for the French Open after cruising past Croat Marin Cilic in the Rome quarter-finals, faces Richard Gasquet in the last four while Djokovic plays Andy Murray.
"He's playing well and is probably the favorite for every match this year," Nadal told reporters in Rome.
"He beat me in Indian Wells, he beat me in Miami and he beat me in Madrid, but those finals with Djokovic are in the past. I'd love to play him in another final."
Djokovic has won his past six tournaments, gatecrashing the traditional Nadal-Federer duopoly.
"He beat me three times. It can happen. I don't know how many times I beat him before," said Nadal, who has a 16-10 win-loss record against the 23-year-old. "Now he's playing well, but before I played well against him. I cannot be nervous about Novak."
"Novak will lose. I don't know if it will be tomorrow or in six months," said Nadal. "Tennis is like that. You have form. The advantage he has is that he's comfortable on all surfaces and another advantage is that he's very good."
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)