Spanish tennis ace Rafael Nadal came up with yet another proof of why he is the undisputed ‘King of Clay’ by clinching victory in the final of the Italian Open against rival Novak Djokovic. With the win, Nadal sent a message to his fellow competitors that with the French Open coming up, he will once again be the firm favourite to clinch the title yet again, like he has been for years and years.
Nadal was at his best with his forehand as he looked in control during a riveting first set that lasted for 75 minutes. He claimed the all-important break before holding serve to win the first set. In the second set, Nadal seemed to look out of sorts a bit as Djokovic played some excellent tennis to take it 6-1. However, in the third set with Djokovic having two break points at 2-2, Nadal came roaring back in trademark fashion to clinch the championship.
Rafael Nadal scripts history with ‘La Decima’
Rafael Nadal broke plenty of records with his win over Novak Djokovic today. Firstly, it was his 10th title in Rome which means that he now has 10 or more titles in as many as 4 different tournaments (Roland Garros – 13, Barcelona – 12 and Monte Carlo – 11). Further, this was his 36th career Masters 1000 title, going level with his opponent Djokovic. The head-to-head between the two is now 29-28 in favour of the Serb.
Nadal’s win today was as aforementioned ‘La Decima’ – his 10th in Italy. He has reached the final of the Open 12 times, losing twice to Djokovic and winning the other 10. Apart from Andy Murray who won it once and Alexander Zverev who also won it once, only Djokovic and Nadal have clinched victory in Italy. Another incredible statistic is that this is Nadal’s 62nd ATP title on clay. Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Tommy Robredo, Dominic Thiem, Fabio Fognini and Stan Wawrinka have only 62 combined.
List of records broken by Rafael Nadal
- This is Nadal’s 86 outdoor title, 9 more than the second best (Roger Federer).
- Nadal has now 26 Masters 1000 titles on Clay.
- He becomes the first player to win the same Masters event three times in his thirties(Rome Masters aged 31,32 and 34).
- He also becomes the first player to win a same title twice as a teenager and thrice in his thirties.
- This was Rafael Nadal’s 10th title in Rome which means that he has 10 or more titles in as many as 4 different tournaments (Roland Garros – 13, Barcelona – 12 and Monte Carlo – 11). Nobody has achieved this feat in the Open Era.
- This is Rafael Nadal’s 36th ATP Masters 1000 title, a joint record with Novak Djokovic.
- This is Nadal’s 62nd ATP title on clay.
- Rafael Nadal became the 2nd oldest to win an ATP Masters 1000 title. He is also the second youngest.
- Nadal extended the timespan between his first and last ATP title to 6116 days.