Imperious Nadal fends off Djokovic to land ninth Rome title


Tennis – ATP 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 19, 2019 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates during the final against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

ROME (Reuters) – Rafael Nadal won a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title with a 6-0 4-6 6-1 victory over Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final on Sunday.

The Spaniard, who had shared the record of 33 Masters titles with the Serbian world number one, warmed up for the defense of his French Open crown by securing his ninth Rome title.

Nadal got off to a flying start by whitewashing a shellshocked Djokovic in the opening set. It was the first time there has been a 6-0 set during a meeting between the two rivals.

Djokovic took the second by breaking Nadal’s serve for the first time while leading 5-4, but the second seed responded in style by storming through the decisive set.

Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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