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Djokovic abdicates, Nadal remains the emperor of Rome


The Spaniard got the better of the Serbian in three sets and nearly three hours of play this Sunday, in the final of the Masters 1000 in Rome.

Nadal is indeed the Emperor of Rome and, no offense to the new generation, the master of clay: two weeks before Roland-Garros, "Rafa" dominated the defending champion Novak Djokovic 7-5, 1 -6, 6-3 to conquer his tenth crown in Italy.

Among the ladies too, it was the defending champion of the Parisian Grand Slam tournament who won Sunday in Rome: the Polish Iga Swiatek (15th in the world) left no play (6-0, 6- 0 in 45 minutes), nor the slightest hope for the Czech Karolina Pliskova (9th).

After a first match undoubtedly a bit too expeditious for its taste, the public found something to vibrate during an intense male final, of nearly three hours.

Not really a surprise for this 57th Djokovic-Nadal of the name, the sixth in the final in Rome (4-2 for Nadal) even if the last face to face date, in the Roland-Garros final in October, had been easily won by the Spanish.

Nadal (3rd in the world) drew on his formidable rage to win to overcome a drop in the second set and join the Serbian in the number of titles won in Masters 1000 (36 each).

Before going on the hunt for a 14th victory in Paris, Nadal thus evacuates the doubts born of his early eliminations (in quarters) in Monte-Carlo and Madrid.

"I am disappointed to lose, but happy with my level of tennis"

Novak Djokovic

Despite some difficult matches this week - two match points saved in the eighth - he sends a message to the rising generation of Zverev, Tsitispas or Sinner as to his favorite rivals Djokovic and Federer. The “old guys,” as 33-year-old “Nole” joked on Saturday, have now made racing for the Grand Slam record their priority. But that didn't stop Nadal and Djokovic from giving their all on Sunday.

Nadal mastered the first round, despite a big fall by taking the foot in a line while sliding, for the second time of the week, before knowing a hole of air in the second set: "Nole", in s' pressing strong forehands, took the opportunity to break twice and get back into the game.

But against the world No. 1, perhaps a little damaged by the nearly five hours spent on the court on Saturday (end of his quarter, then his semi-final), "Rafa" took things in hand in the third set, saving two break points against him at 2-2 before taking the service of the Serbian to fly to victory.

"No fatigue, I was good," assured the Serbian.

I'm disappointed to lose, but happy with my level of tennis. ” 

The serenity of Swiatek  

This full match will be enough to satisfy “Rafa”, who left his semi-final on Saturday with express exchanges against the American Reilly Opelka. In Rome, he will have been full of confidence: "I played better and better, a solid week of tennis, sometimes with a little luck, but it's really incredible to win for the tenth time", a- he stressed

Even confidence on the rise before Roland Garros for Iga Swiatek after his walk in the park against Pliskova, ghostly for his third final in three years at Foro Italico (victory in 2019, finalist in 2020). “A lot has happened this week. I had to play two matches yesterday (Saturday, the quarter in the morning then the semi-final in the afternoon, editor's note), I saved match points (in eighths, editor's note), you helped me a lot ! ”, Launched Swiatek to the public to be forgiven for a show that came to an end. About twenty minutes and the first set was already completed, with only four points dropped at Pliskova.

In the third game of the second set and already with another break against her, Pliskova finally won her first points in return and even two break points.

But the Polish, in bulldozer mode, erased them without trembling to give the final blow to the former world number 1.

Pliskova, but also all those dreaming of dethroning Swiatek at Roland Garros, are warned: it will be difficult to disturb the serenity of the young Polish woman, who is not even 20 years old (May 31).

Read also

  • Masters 1000 of Rome: men's table

Source: lefigaro

All news articles on 2021-05-18

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