Djokovic, Federer set to meet in Italian Open final

Rome, Italy ( - Defending champion Novak Djokovic will try for yet another title at the Italian Open after dispatching David Ferrer in Saturday's semifinals.

Djokovic advanced to his sixth career Rome final with a 6-4, 6-4 victory and will face Swiss star Roger Federer on Sunday.

The top-ranked Serb is a three-time champion and two-time runner-up in Rome. He won the French Open tune-up in 2008 and 2011 in addition to last year and was a finalist in 2009 and 2012, losing to Rafael Nadal both times.

Joining Djokovic in the final is the second-seeded Federer, who had no problem handling fellow Swiss native Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2.

Although Federer fell behind the eighth-seeded Wawrinka 3-0 in the first set and 1-0 in the second, he needed less than an hour to rebound in both instances and ease into the final.

Djokovic has already won four titles this year. He claimed the year's first major at the Australian Open, then captured both Masters titles at Indian Wells and Miami before opening his clay-court season with a championship at Monte Carlo.

On Sunday, Djokovic will carry a 21-match winning streak into the final. He hasn't lost since dropping a straight-set match to Federer in the Dubai final back in February and owns a career record of 52-23 in title matches.

It had been a struggle for Djokovic this week, having endured three straight three-set matches entering Saturday. However, he needed just 95 minutes to beat seventh-seeded Ferrer, the 2010 Rome runner-up, for the ninth straight time.

Djokovic earned a break in just the third game of the match and saved a break point while serving for the set at 5-4 when Ferrer missed a forehand. He managed to hold and win the set, then broke for a 5-4 lead in the second and quickly finished the match in the next game.

Ferrer, who also lost to Djokovic in the Rome quarterfinals last year, fell to 5-15 lifetime against the Serb and hasn't beaten him since round-robin play of the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Djokovic is 18-20 lifetime against Federer, including 1-1 this year. After Federer beat Djokovic in the Dubai final, Djokovic returned the favor at Indian Wells. Djokovic is 2-0 against Federer in Rome, winning semifinal matches in 2009 and 2012.

Federer will be looking for his fourth title this season and first in Rome after suffering three defeats in the final during his career.

The 2015 Rome titlist will claim $708,000.