World No. 1 Novak Djokovic put on a brilliant show during the 2022 Rome Masters finals as he defeated World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas to clinch his 6th title in Rome. Novak won the match 6-0, 7-6(5) to extend his lead in the ATP Masters titles to 38 with Rafael Nadal being second on the list with 36 Masters titles to his name.
With many expecting the finals to be an even affair, the Serbian absolutely demolished Stefanos in the first set dropping a bagel and laying one hand on the trophy. Stef certainly did make a strong return in the second set and looked to force a decider but he could not hold onto his lead as Novak forced a tiebreaker and put in a clutch performance to wrap the finals in straight sets and pick his first title of the season.
With the defeat in Rome, Stef is now 8-12 in career finals with Novak handing him his fourth finals loss. But the Greek was gracious in defeat and had nothing but praise for the Serbian who is slowly coming back to his best after a difficult start to the season.
“Novak is a great champion. I respect him a lot. I understand every decision he made, even those in the past. I support them. I think he is a very wise person who knows exactly what he is doing regarding his career and life. He harmonized everything so that he is close to perfection – nutrition, everyday life, tennis, he arranged everything well.
“He is like a Formula 1 car – and the smallest detail can disrupt his rhythm. He makes sure that everything he does is as close to perfection. I can’t ignore that and it can’t help but inspire me, because it’s professionalism to the end. If we talk about tennis legends and records, I personally think that he is one of the most professional and the best of all,” said Stefanos in comments reported by SportKlub Serbia.
Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas to play in the French Open
With the 2022 French Open about to begin in a week’s time, last year’s finalists Novak and Stef will not be participating in any event this week and will return to action directly at the Grand Slam in Paris where both will be title favourites.
On their way to the Roland Garros, Novak has played in 4 claycourt events where he saw a second-round defeat in Monte-Carlo, a runner-up finish in Belgrade, a semi-final run in Madrid Masters and a title in the Rome Masters. As for Stefanos, he successfully defended his title in the Monte-Carlo Masters, followed by a quarter-final run in Barcelona, a semi-final run in Madrid and a runner-up finish in Rome.