Rafael Nadal won for the tenth time in Rome
Photo: Gregorio Borgia / dpa
Rafael Nadal won the test of strength with Novak Djokovic before the French Open and won the Masters tournament in Rome for the tenth time. Nadal won the final 7: 5, 1: 6, 6: 3 against the Serbian world number one, who missed his sixth success in Italy's capital. With the success in 2:49 hours, Nadal shortened the personal record of the two long-time world-class tennis players to 28:29. The French Open begins on May 30th, where the Spaniard is the undisputed record winner with 13 titles.
The duel in Rome was the first since Nadal's clear final victory at the late French Open last October.
From the beginning, an intense, close and high-class clay court duel developed, which delighted the admitted spectators again and again.
It was the sixth final and eighth meeting between the two in the Foro Italico.
Up to 25 percent of the seats were allowed to be occupied by spectators during the games
Photo: GUGLIELMO MANGIAPANE / REUTERS
33-year-old Djokovic, who first had to complete his quarter-finals and then his semi-finals in a double shift on Saturday, started better and was initially mostly ahead, but Nadal still got the first set.
He managed a break to 6: 5, after 74 minutes of playing time the 34-year-old left-hander secured the set win with his strong forehand.
Djokovic countered in the second set, in which Nadal made more mistakes.
But with the break to 4: 2, the now stronger Spaniard gained the decisive advantage in the last round and celebrated his 88th tournament victory, the 62nd on clay.
cev / dpa