Nadal wins his ninth Italian Open
Rafael Nadal warmed up for Roland Garros by claiming his ninth Italian Open title as he beat Novak Djokovic in three sets yesterday.
The defending champion triumphed 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 in two hours and 25 minutes in Rome.
It was the 54th meeting between world No 2 Nadal and No 1 Djokovic, and the first in which either player had won a set without conceding a game.
Nadal's first title of the year was a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 crown as the Spaniard moved one clear of Djokovic on that front.
While Nadal went into the final having not dropped a set all week, Djokovic had come through tough three-setters in each of the previous two rounds, and the former appeared the fresher yesterday.
The opening set lasted 39 minutes as Nadal broke three times.
Djokovic bounced back well, securing the second set via a break in the 10th game, only to then be broken in the opening game of the decider, and Nadal remained firmly in control thereafter.