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 force. 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, 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 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.
Rafael Nadal followed his clay-court titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona with Rome Masters triumph and is set to defend his French Open crown which starts in Paris coming Sunday. With this win, Rafael Nadal shot back to number two on ATP points table.
In the Women’s final, Russian 2nd seed Maria Sharapova defeated China’s Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 7-6. Eighth seed Li looked well on course for her first tour title since last year’s historic win at Roland Garros as she led 6-4 , 4-0, and despite a Sharapova revival fashioned a match point on the Russian’s serve at 6-5. But Sharapova fought her way back to force a tie-break – only for the rain to force the postponement of the match for two hours before Sharapova stepped back out to just manage to complete the job.