Rafael Nadal is once again the King at Rome! He defeats World No.1 Novak Djokovic in three sets 7-5,1-6,6-3 to win his record tenth title in Rome. With his win, he draws Djokovic with 36 Masters 1000 titles in his name. In doing so, Nadal becomes the first player to win three different tournaments 10 or more times.
The first set started with tremendous intensity from both the players. The initial rallies were gruelling, setting up the face for the remainder of the match. Djokovic broke Nadal’s serve upfront and took a 2-0 lead. But Nadal was quick in breaking back a drew level at 3-3.
Both the players were holding their serves well and hitting a lot of winners and it was Nadal you had the deciding break late in the set to take a 6-5 lead. He closed out the set 7-5 on his serve.
It was all Djokovic from the start of the second set. He broke Nadal’s serve 4th game to take a 3-1 lead. Nadal hit a lot of backhand errors and struggled with his first serve. Djokovic won 4 games in a row to win the second set 6-1 and take the match to a decider.
The comeback king does it again
After a lowkey second set, the intensity of both players peaked in the third set. The rallies got bigger and bigger and the number of winners increased. After holding serve for 2 games, Nadal finally raised the level of his game. He broke Djokovic with a dramatic winner to send the crowd in ruptures.
The next three games were very tight with both players hitting winners right, right and center. To cut short, they showed the world why they are the best in the business. But it was Nadal who had the last laugh. He consolidated the break to win the last set 6-3.
Nadal and Djokovic are now both tied at 36 Masters titles each and is followed by Roger Federer with 28 titles.