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Imperious Nadal blows away Djokovic to land ninth Rome title

Updated : 2019-05-20 12:00:38

Rafael Nadal proved that he would still be the man to beat when the French Open begins later this month after he humbled Novak Djokovic 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the Italian Open final on Sunday to win a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 title. The Spaniard, who had shared the record of 33 Masters titles with the Serbian world number one, warmed up for the defence of his Roland Garros crown by securing his ninth Rome title. Nadal got off to a flying start by whitewashing Djokovic in the opening set. It was the first time there has been a 6-0 set during a meeting between the two rivals. Djokovic took the second by breaking Nadal's serve for the first time while leading 5-4, but the second seed responded in style by storming through the decisive set. When Nadal's previous three claycourt tournaments had ended in semi-final defeats, it no doubt gave his rivals hope that his long reign at Roland Garros could be coming to an end this year. However, the way he demolished the world's top-ranked player in the opening and third sets on Sunday would have once again struck fear into any of those challengers who had been harbouring hopes of lifting the Musketeers' Cup on June 9. The Spaniard heads into Roland Garros in top form after seeing his serve broken just twice en route to claiming his first title of 2019 in his 50th Masters final.

Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic with the trophy REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates winning the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic with the trophy REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates during the final against Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 General view during the final between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 General view during the final between Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spain's Rafael Nadal REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal in action during the final against Serbia's Novak Djokovic REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal with Serbia's Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
Tennis - ATP 1000 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 19, 2019 Spain's Rafael Nadal with Serbia's Novak Djokovic after winning the final REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli
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