Rafael Nadal won his 21st Masters title after defeating world no.1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the Rome final, winning 7-5 6-3 in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
Some heavy hitting marked the beginning of the match, both players going at each other with full speed. Nadal earned himself a break point in the opening game, but couldn’t capitalise. More high quality tennis was played in the next few games and with one break of serve on each side, the set was levelled at 5-5. It was the Spaniard who struck again in the 11th game, coming back from 15-40 to take Djokovic’s serve. The Serbian showed his anger and frustration by smashing his racket to pieces before Nadal went on to hold his serve to 15 and closed out the set.
Nadal was able to carry the momentum into the second set as he went up a break at the very beginning of it. Despite Djokovic fighting hard to get the break back, he couldn’t convert any of the six break point opportunities he had on the Spaniard’s serve. He paid dearly for this and after dropping his serve when serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Nadal sailed to his 6th Rome title.
The Spaniard put on an impressive performance and his ability to go from defense into offense was simply outstanding. With this win, he will be the top favourite to capture the crown at this year’s Roland Garros.
Djokovic booked his final spot by defeating Federer and Nadal eliminated fellow countryman David Ferrer in Saturday’s semifinal.