Nadal defeats Djokovic to regain Roman crown

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta
Rafeal Nadal

Rafeal Nadal secured a record fourth Masters title in Rome

The ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal defeated defending champion Novak Djokovic on Sunday to secure his fourth Rome Masters title in five years.

The world number one beat the Serb 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 in a victory that extends his impressive unbeaten run on clay.

The first set was a tense affair in which Nadal failed to capitalise on two set points. Frustration seemed to get the better of Djokovic however, as he smashed his racquet when he failed to hold his serve after breaking the Spaniard in the previous game. Nadal dominated the resulting tie-break 7-2 to take the first set.

Djokovic looked constantly frustrated as Nadal failed to back down in long rallies where the Serb initially looked to have the upper-hand. He received a code violation warning for breaking his racquet late in the second set.

The final set saw Nadal storm ahead, powering to a 6-2 victory and wining the match after breaking the Serb in the final game.

Speaking after his victory Nadal said: “For sure it’s one of the biggest wins of my career. It’s always incredible to win in Rome.”

“The first point of the tie-break was for him and I had two chances to serve for the first set and lost both times, but I played the tie-break well and that was the most important thing.”

The world number one’s formidable record on his favourite surface continues. The last time Nadal lost on clay was 30 matches ago in Rome last year when he was defeated early on by Juan Carlos Ferrero. Djokovic then went on to win the title.

Rafeal Nadal

Despite losing, Djokovic was in high enough spirits to entertain the crowd after the match by performing one of his now infamous impersonations, this one was of Nadal. And even the Spainard could afford to smile.

For Djokovic though, the defeat means that he will lose his number three spot in the world rankings to Andy Murray on May 11. The next Masters tournament begins in Madrid on May 10.

MORE:

OUR PICK: Discover the 5 best fat burner supplements

MORE: Have your say on Facebook

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

Exclusive
The Sport Review
Paul Annacone talks Federer, Sampras, Murray and more as he launches Coaching for Life
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Man United told to sign proven 28-year-old to win them the title
The Sport Review
Gareth Bale and his thoughts on joining Man United – report
The Sport Review
Ray Parlour sends message to Arsenal about Alexis Sanchez’s future