The number 2 in the world won its ninth Internazionali BNL d’Italia title, a serious challenge from top velvet Novak Djokovic overcome in the Foro Italico 6-0 triumph, 4-6, 6-1 after two hours and 25 minutes. Nadal also broke a tie with Djokovic by winning the 34th ATP Masters 1000 crown.
Nadal participated in his 50th Masters 1000 final and pursued his first trophy of the season. It was the first time since 2004 that the 32-year-old came to Rome without a win. And the hunger of the second crop was evident as they prevailed in the final of Rome 9: 2, to get a title for the 16th consecutive year.
“What matters most to me is this trophy,” said Nadal. “Rome is one of the most important tournaments of the year, it’s a big part of the history of our sport, winning here is the main thing.”
Djokovic, who still leads the couple’s epic FedEx ATP Head2Head series 28-26, has weathered the first bagel set he lost to Dominic Thiem since the 2017 Roland Garros Quarterfinals. But it turned out that the two tough three Etter he had to go in the quarterfinals and semifinals against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman respectively, on the Serbian legs wore towards the end of this altercation.
“I do not care if I win 6-0 or 6-4, if I’m honest, that’s just a fact, I do not care,” Nadal said. “I played a great first set in every way, no mistakes, playing so aggressively and changing direction, that kind of days happening, it’s not common and probably will not happen again, the first sentence is just an important part of the game. ” What helps with the first sentence is shows that I was able to play at this level. “
The last time they played in the Australian Open final, Djokovic only had one breakpoint. Nadal earned 17 break points in this fight, and that proved the difference.
“I’m more excited about the title than the win over Novak,” said Nadal. “I am particularly happy because the level was very high.”
Djokovic had won nine of their last eleven games, but Nadal wasted no time in taking the lead in Foro Italico. The Serb dropped balls earlier than usual, and Nadal was able to jump and enter the pitch to dictate the game. It turned out that Nadal, who won three sets 6-0 and lost no set on the way to the final, was a fresher man than Djokovic who scored bad drop-shots that allowed Nadal a light finish.
In recent years, Djokovic has been successful in crosscourt rallies between his backhand and Nadal’s forehand, but the Spaniard has done well to avoid these bouts from the back foot and only participated in these rallies from an offensive position. Nadal made three breaks in the first set and collected 59 percent of his return points in the first set.
Although Djokovic won no game in the first set, the two sharp backhand winners he met towards the end of the opener showed a change of will, which prevailed in the second.
The Serb began to play more aggressively, and his movement on the field was more intense. After escaping 3-0 in a 3-0 deficit, he had to make a decision when Nadal narrowly missed by 4: 5.
But this was the sixth tournament in Nadal’s career, where he won three or more bagel sets and in the previous five he won the title. That has not changed in Rome.
The second seed immediately jumped back at the beginning of the decision. Djokovic went for breakpoint with a forehand, but kept the ball too close to the center of the field so that Nadal took control of the rally and eventually broke with an aggressive backhand on the Serb’s forehand with a 1-off, and he never looked back.
“I’m really glad that I managed to get into the third set, given the first sentence I was knocked off the field, obviously the third set was not much different from the first,” said Djokovic. “I just ran out of fuel today, I only missed half a step, especially on the backhand side, he used that very well, he played great tennis all week, he was just too strong.” today.”
Nadal was broke only twice a week, holding in 41 of his 43 service games and saving 13 of the 15 break points he faced. For his win, he receives 1,000 ATP leaderboard points and € 958,055. Djokovic wins 600 points and 484.950 €.