HomeTENNISRafael Nadal defeats Novak Djokovic to make it perfect 10 in Italian Open
Rafael Nadal defeats Novak Djokovic to make it perfect 10 in Italian Open
May 16, 2021
Rafael Nadal warmed up for the French Open with a battling 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 win over world No 1 Novak Djokovic because the Spaniard claimed a record-extending tenth Italian Open title in Rome on Sunday within the newest chapter of their rivalry.
After a mid-match wobble, Nadal turned up the warmth within the decisive moments of his 57th assembly with prime seed Djokovic – the pair’s ninth in Rome – to safe the victory over the defending champion in two hours and 49 minutes.
“I used to be fortunate in some moments, particularly in opposition to [Denis] Shapovalov,” Nadal stated, referring to the last-16 match he gained in a tiebreak within the decider. “After which I feel I performed an excellent event, I’ve been taking part in higher and higher, discovering my rhythm on clay. I had a really optimistic week and I’m very glad.
“It’s wonderful to have this trophy in my palms for the tenth time. It’s one thing unimaginable to think about but it surely occurred so I’m tremendous glad and might’t thank my group sufficient.”
Nadal broke to go forward 6-5 in a decent opening set and staved off a late comeback try from Djokovic to take the early benefit within the contest with a searing inside-out forehand that caught the Serbian off guard.
However Djokovic, who misplaced to Nadal of their earlier assembly within the Roland Garros last final yr, pounced within the second set to race forward 5-1 because the Spaniard’s depth dropped and shortly levelled the match.
Second seed Nadal then saved two break factors at 2-2 within the decider and fired an emphatic shot down the road to carry, earlier than switching gears to finish the win and match Djokovic’s report of 36 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
Nadal will now goal a 14th French Open crown when the grand slam begins on 30 Could.