Nadal downs Djokovic to win ninth Rome title

22 Mai, 2019, 19:14 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Rafael Nadal avenged his Madrid Open defeat to Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the Italian Open final

I never did in the past.

"Here we are. Important title, important moment".

It marked the first time in an Open Era-record 54 meetings, and in their 142nd set against each other, that Nadal won a set against Djokovic without conceding a game - otherwise known as a bagel.

It was the Spaniard's 34rd Masters title - a record - and his ninth Rome trophy, but more importantly, his first clay-court title this term.

The 2016 U.S. Open runner-up, Pliskova also reached the Australian Open semifinals and the Miami Open final after opening this season with a title in Brisbane, Australia.

The 32-year-old left Djokovic in a daze as he stormed through the opening set in 39 blistering minutes.

Nadal had to withdraw from Indian Wells, a couple of months back owing to a knee injury. "It's always a special match against Novak, he's having a great season, winning in Australia, Madrid and in the final here".

"I didn't arrive very well prepared to Monte Carlo".

"There have been some low moments for me. The first round in Barcelona, that was a disaster", he rued.

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The Spanish star player cruised past the World No.1 Serbian player Novak Djokovic with a margin of 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in a tough match.

But the Spaniard brushed aside the Greek in the semi-finals in the Italian capital on Friday. I was just happy with every match which I played.

It was his 81st tournament win and it takes him 34-33 ahead of Djokovic in Masters 1,000 Series titles.

"Nadal the No 1 favourite, without a doubt, and then everyone else", he said.

"But I think it's going to be a good tournament". Dominic Thiem is playing some really, really good tennis, he can beat anyone, especially on clay.

"He used it very well, he's been playing some terrific tennis throughout the entire week and he was just too strong".

Afterwards, Nadal felt he merely needed more warm-up practice, insisting that "I am going to be there with time enough".

Pliskova's victory will move her up to No. 2 in the rankings and makes her one of the contenders for Roland Garros.

"I'm looking forward to it".

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