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Nadal Beats Djokovic for 10th Italian Open Title

Nadal Beats Djokovic for 10th Italian Open Title

Sunday, 16 May, 2021 - 18:30
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – May 16, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts during his final match against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

Rafael Nadal beat a tired Novak Djokovic 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 for a record-extending 10th Italian Open title on Sunday.


The Spaniard recovered from a potentially dangerous fall after tripping over a raised line to take the latest installment of the most-played rivalry in modern men’s tennis.


It also re-established Nadal as the overwhelming favorite for the French Open, where he will be aiming for an even harder-to-believe 14th title starting in two weeks.


Nadal beat Djokovic in straight sets in last year’s Roland Garros final.


The top-ranked Djokovic spent nearly five hours on court Saturday, when he had to rally for a rain-delayed quarterfinal victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas before winning another three-setter over local favorite Lorenzo Sonego in the semifinals. Nadal played only once on Saturday, beating Reilly Opelka in 1 ½ hours.


In the women’s final, reigning French Open champion Iga Swiatek routed Karolina Pliskova with a “double bagel” 6-0 6-0.


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