Novak Djokovic picked up where he left off before his US Open default two weeks ago, winning a fifth Italian Open title on Monday, days before the start of Roland Garros.
The world number one lifted a record 36th Masters crown, one more than great rival Rafael Nadal, after beating Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 in the final at the Foro Italico in Rome.
“Turning to Paris, I couldn’t ask for a better tournament here in Rome. Another big title and I’m super pleased,” said Djokovic.
“I don’t think I played my best tennis throughout the entire week, but I think I found my best tennis when I needed it in the decisive moments.”
Djokovic extended his record to 31 wins from 32 matches this year, with his only loss the US Open disqualification for accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball.
Schwartzman had shocked nine-time tournament winner Rafael Nadal in the quarter-finals.
But he ran out of steam in a final played under a light drizzle, having also spent more than three hours on the court in Sunday’s semi-finals.
Despite a great start, with two breaks to lead 3-0, Schwartzman could not keep the momentum going against the 17-time Grand Slam winner, who notched up his fifth win over the Argentinian.
For Djokovic, it was a fifth victory in 10 finals in Rome, but the first since 2015, having finished runner-up three times since including last year to Nadal.
“It’s been a good week, even if I haven’t played my best tennis. I’m satisfied,” said Djokovic.
Top women’s seed Simona Halep lifted her first trophy in Rome, a confidence booster ahead of the French Open, after defending champion Karolina Pliskova retired injured while trailing 6-0, 2-1 in the final.
World number two Halep was competing in her third Rome WTA final, having finished runner-up in 2017 and 2018.
Soldiers invades Nnamdi Kanu’s home
Got a news tip?
If you have a story for our news team or firsthand information, pictures about a news story to pass to us, send it via WhatsApp +2348077609539 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Click Banner To Get N100,000 Bonus Now!
When you register on 1xBet using this promo code asbnewsng, you can unlock a fantastic bonus offer of N100,000! Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity. Try it now!
Founder/editor-in-chief – ASB News. If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to follow any of my social links below.