Imperious Nadal blows away Djokovic to land 9th Rome title

Coming back from injuries is tougher every time says Rafael Nadal

Imperious Nadal blows away Djokovic to land 9th Rome title

He showed this after he humbled Novak Djokovic 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the Italian Open final to win a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title.

The world No 9 received treatment on a bloodied big toe after Djokovic levelled one-set all.

The Spaniard, who had shared the record of 33 Masters titles with the Serbian world No.1, warmed up for the defence of his French Open crown by securing his ninth Rome title.

World number one Djokovic, victor at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his career.

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Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared exhausted after spending more than 5 ½ hours on court against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days.

Djokovic was also coming off the Madrid Open title last week.

"I'm just trying to realise what I did wrong", said Tsitsipas, "because, I mean, it was just one break in each set, if I'm not wrong". "He was just too strong today".

In the women's singles, Konta came from a set behind to beat Dutch world number four Kiki Bertens 5-7 7-5 6-2 and progress to the final, where she will face qualifier Maria Sakkari or fourth seed Karolina Pliskova. "Obviously third set was not much different from the first", Djokovic added. He's been playing some terrific tennis throughout the entire week.

When Nadal pushed Djokovic deep into the corner in the opening game of the third set and Djokovic's desperation lob sailed long to hand Nadal a break, Djokovic smashed his racket to the clay three times in frustration and received a warning from the chair umpire.

Reigning US and Australian Open champion Osaka withdrew with a stiff right hand giving Madrid Open victor Kiki Bertens a ticket to the semi-final. Fresher legs matter in a match like this where both guys know each other so well and points will be hard fought. "Before the tournament, I was not super confident, not thinking about the final at all".

Tsitsipas advanced after Federer - returning to clay after a two-year absence - retired with a right leg injury before their game.

"I am not 100 per cent physically and after consultation with my team, it was determined that I not play", he said. "Just overall, I was lacking a little bit more of a dynamic movement, kind of attacking the ball. I think it's going to be a great tournament".

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