ROME -- Milos Raonic was a few points away from locking up a spot in a Masters 1000 final for the second time in his career. Scarpe Nike Scontate On Line . Instead a letdown in a second-set tiebreaker proved costly for the Canadian as he dropped a three-set decision to Novak Djokovic on Saturday at the Italian Open. The second-ranked Djokovic will now renew his rivalry with top-ranked Rafael Nadal in the championship match Sunday. There will be an enticing womens championship too, with top-ranked Serena Williams to face Sara Errani, the tournaments first Italian finalist in nearly 30 years. Djokovic took his time before figuring out Raonics massive serve for a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (4), 6-3 victory in a three-hour match at the Foro Italico. "I did the things I wanted to do. I didnt execute in the moments I would have liked but I did create a lot of opportunities for myself," Raonic said. "I just wish I would have played a few situations differently. I had the right approach but wasnt able to execute well (all) of the time. "I felt I had a chance in the match. I brought my best tennis (so) I could give myself an opportunity -- which I was able to do today. It came down to a few moments and he performed better in those moments than I did." Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., had 55 winners but also made 42 unforced errors. The 23-year-old missed out on three break-point chances in the second set while Djokovic earned an early break in the third for a lead he wouldnt relinquish. "It was a tight match that was decided in the first two sets on a few points," Djokovic said. "He put a lot of pressure on my service games. And when you serve that well, you dont have as much pressure on your return games." Raonics serve flirted with the 230 km/h mark at times and he fired 17 aces. "I cant recall the last time when I was feeling so helpless in the return games," Djokovic said. "It was brutal." In mens doubles action, Canadas Daniel Nestor and Serbian partner Nenad Zimonjic reached the final with a 7-6 (3), 4-6, 12-10 win over Bob and Mike Bryan of the United States. Raonic lost to Nadal in the final of the 2013 Rogers Cup in his lone Masters 1000 final appearance. He will return to a career-high No. 9 in the world rankings on Monday. Raonic will also be a top-eight seed at the French Open in two weeks since Argentinas Juan Martin Del Potro -- currently the world No. 7 -- will be unable to compete because of injury. The Italian Open is the last key clay-court tuneup before the upcoming French Open. Having been stretched to three sets in his opening three matches this week, Nadal finally put in a complete performance with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Grigor Dimitrov in the late semifinal. "Today was a good confirmation that I really played better ... a lot of positive things," Nadal said. "(Djokovic) is playing great and its going to be a really tough match." Nadal holds a 22-18 career edge vs. Djokovic but the Serb won their last meeting for the Sony Open title in March in Key Biscayne, Florida. Nadal already has a record seven titles in Rome, while Djokovic is seeking his third championship at the Foro Italico. They have met in three finals here, with Nadal winning two of them. Williams overcame a second-set lapse to beat Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 and gain a measure of revenge for a fourth-round loss to the Serb at this years Australian Open. Using vocal crowd support to her advantage, Errani fought back from a 4-1 deficit in the second set for a 6-3, 7-5 win over two-time Rome champion Jelena Jankovic. Williams is aiming for her third Rome title, having won this clay-court tuneup for Roland Garros in 2002 and last year. The American is 6-0 in her career against Errani and lost just one game in their last meeting, in the semifinals of last years French Open. "Shes just taken her game to a whole new level and she has so much confidence beating two really good top-10 players and two really great clay-court players," Williams said, also referring to Erranis win over second-seeded Li Na in the quarter-finals. "So I have a lot of work to do tomorrow. Its not going to be easy. And she has nothing to lose and she has the crowd behind her. So its going to be a really tough match for me." Nadal went the distance against Gilles Simon, Mikhail Youzhny and Andy Murray in his opening rounds this week but had relatively little trouble against Dimitrov, who was playing in his first Masters series semifinal. Afterward, Djokovic appealed for help for his flood-hit native Serbia, and wrote a message of support on a camera lens, adding I love you in Cyrillic. "This is a total catastrophe of biblical proportions," he said. "Half the country is in danger of not having electricity." Errani drew emotion from the crowd. "There were a few moments when I thought I might not pull it off but the fans were huge," said Errani, who is attempting to become the first Italian to win the tournament since Raffaella Reggi took the 1985 title in Taranto. The last Italian man to win was Adriano Panatta back in 1976. Its already Erranis best result since reaching the 2012 French Open final. Jankovic, the 2007 and 2008 Rome champion, repeatedly asked the chair umpire to come down and check marks but none of them were overturned, resulting only in the crowd stepping up its encouragement for Errani. "Just do it, Sara. Just do it, Sara," the fans cheered late in the second set. The highly partisan crowd frequently applauded Errani while points were still being played and cheered even when Jankovic double-faulted. "(The crowd) was all on her side but its normal, shes the local player," Jankovic said. "I tried to stay focused on my game, and play my tennis but she was the better player today." ------ With files from The Canadian Press. Yeezy 350 False . Manager Ryan Nelsen has confirmed Brazilian No. 1 Julio Cesar will be rested for Wednesdays first leg of the semifinal. That opens the door for Bendik, who started 33 games for Toronto last season. Yeezy 350 Italia . - The width of Alec Martinezs shin guard was the difference between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks in their playoff series opener. http://www.scontatescarpenikeoutlet.it/italia-vans-offerte.html . - Carter Verhaeghe scored the winner with 41 seconds to go as the Niagara IceDogs edged the North Bay Battalion 3-2 to even their first-round series at a game apiece in Ontario Hockey League playoff action on Sunday.Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - In case you havent noticed, the ATP and WTA tours are in hibernation until January 4 (unless you count that IPTL exo fast-forward tennis stuff goin down in Asia). A plethora of current and former stars lined up for the inaugural season of the exhibition-style International Premier Tennis League, which is directed by Indian doubles star Mahesh Bhupathi, with a motto of Break the Code. Catchy. There are teams in Dubai, Manila, New Delhi and Singapore, featuring the likes of current and/or former world No. 1 studs Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Maria Sharapova, Caroline Wozniacki, Patrick Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Carlos Moya, and Ana Ivanovic, not to mention one-time world No. 2 Andy Murray. Each team has both past and present stars from the mens and womens tours. Earlier in the week, Djokovic and Federer capped off the India leg of the league with a highly-anticipated clash between the two superstars in front of an electric crowd in New Delhi. The one-set match between the two great rivals ended in a 6-6 tie under the format rules, as Djokovics team, the UAE Royals, came away with a 29-22 victory over Federers team, the Indian Aces. The tourney features five one-set matches between two teams, with the overall score made up of the total number of games won by each side. Im not sure whos following this league outside of the Dubai/Manila/New Delhi/Singapore part of the world, but I know the players that are competing decided that theyd rather make some more money instead of resting for the start of the 2015 ATP and WTA campaigns. What else has been going on in the world of racquets, you say? The legendary Martina Navratilova became the latest former tennis great to join the coaching ranks, as the 58-year-old Hall-of-Famer signed on to coach 2012 Wimbledon runner-up and current world No. 6 star Agnieszka Radwanska. The former world No. 1 Navratilova, who piled up 18 Grand Slam singles titles as a player, said it should be a fun ride (coaching Radwanska, that is). Radwanska and Navratilova joined the recent trend of players hiring former greats as coaches, such as Andy Murray employing Ivan Lendl and then Amelie Mauresmo, Novak Djokovic brinnging in Boris Becker, Roger Federer partnering with Stefan Edberg, Marin Cilic working with Goran Ivanisevic, and Kei Nishikori welcoming Michael Chang. Saucony Scontate. Rising American Madison Keys also dove into the former-world-No. 1-star- turned-coach fray by announcing that Lindsay Davenport would work with her in all events stateside, as well as all four Grand Slam events. The 19-year-old Illinois native Keys is arguably the most-promising talent among the Americans, male or female. Shell head into 15 ranked 30th in the world. And bucking the trend is John Isner, who decided he wants to be coached by a former world No. 63. Justin Gimelstob. Hmm. Moving on. Hey, who doesnt like a good media rights deal story? This week the WTA agreed to a ground-breaking media rights contract it says will be worth more than $525 million (the largest in womens sports history) over 10 seasons from 2017 to 2026, with plans to produce all 2,000 or so singles matches on the womens tour each year. The deal will keep the WTAs international television rights with its current broadcast distribution partner, PERFORM, but expand the scope of the relationship. Their current agreement runs from 2013-16. WTA chairman and CEO Stacey Allaster called the new deal a game-changer (of course she did) and said it will give fans more access to the players they want to watch. Under the existing contract with PERFORM, Allaster said only about a third of the singles matches at WTA tournaments were produced for broadcast around the globe. Now the tour and PERFORM are forming WTA Media, which will produce all main- draw matches in singles, along with the semifinals and finals in doubles, at every tour event, plus develop content for the web and magazine shows for TV. On the domestic front, the aforementioned two-time Grand Slam champion Murray recently proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Kim Sears, although he did pop the question on the same day he fired his long-time friend and coach, Dani Vallverdu. Barring an unusual circumstance, Murray will become the third member of the Big Four to get hitched, joining Djokovic and Federer, who are also already fathers at this point. Will Rafael Nadal join the mix any time soon? Happy Tennis! ' ' '