Nadal looked close to his best on Sunday. The World No.2 won his 9th Italian Open title and that too by beating the world no.1, Djokovic.
Nadal won 6-0 4-6 6-1 and it took him 2 hours and 25 minutes. This is Nadal’s 34th ATP Masters 1000 title.
Nadal has not been at his best this season and his hunger to win the first title win since August (Canadian Open) last year was very evident in this tournament. Djokovic did all he could as he overcame the loss in the first set to win the second set, but he seemed to be tired after hard-fought three-set matches against Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinal (4-6 7-6 6-4) and Diego Schwartzman in the semifinal (6-3 6-7 6-3).
Nadal earned 17 break points in this match and this proved to be the difference. The Spaniard seemed to be fresher than Serbian in this match, the reason could be that the world no.2 did not drop a set and won three 6-0 sets on his way to the final in this tournament.
The Spaniard easily won the first set 6-0 in 39 minutes, he broke the Serbian’s serve in the 1st, 3rd and the 5th game of the 1st set.
In the second set, the Serbian seemed to be more aggressive and showed more intent. The world no.1 led the Spaniard 5-4 and won the set by breaking the service of his opponent and winning the second set 6-4.
In the decider set, Nadal quickly bounced back from the break he faced in the previous game, he broke Djokovic service in the opening game (1-0) and never looked back, He again broke Djokovic in the fifth and the seventh game to win the 3rd set 6-1.
After the match Djokovic said that he was a bit tired:
“I was just running out of fuel a little bit today. Just kind of missed that half a step, especially on the backhand side. He used it very well. He’s been playing some terrific tennis throughout the entire week. He was just too strong today.”
Nadal was very happy after the win and commented:
“For me, as I said every day, winning titles is important but the most important thing is feeling competitive and feeling healthy, I’m very happy for the victory, I played well.
“It’s always a special match against Novak, he’s having a great season, winning in Australia, Madrid and in the final here.”
The win for Nadal here will clearly boost his confidence and prospects in the French Open which is just a week away.
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