Nadal overcomes Djokovic, captures sixth Italian Open title
Rome, Italy (AHN Sports) – Rafael Nadal captured his sixth Internazionali BNL d’Italia title with a masterful 7-5, 6-3 win over world No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic in the finals Monday at Foro Italico.
The win, Nadal’s record-breaking 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, will bring back the Spanish netter to No. 2 in the ATP rankings after momentarily losing it to Swiss superstar Roger Federer.
It also means that Djokovic and Nadal will be ranked Nos. 1 and 2 at the French Open next week.
“I am happy that I won in Rome without losing a set against the best players in the world like (Tomas) Berdych and (David) Ferrer and Djokovic,” Nadal told atptennis.com. He also won at Foro Italico in 2005 to 2007 and 2009 to 2010.
“I will have this trophy in my bedroom. It is a dream. [I have] the confidence I am playing well and this comes when I play at the right level. Hopefully I will keep playing like this,” he added.
Nadal will carry the momentum of his 16-1 record on clay this season to Roland Garros, where he will attempt to lift the trophy for the seventh time.
Meanwhile, Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic spearheaded his country’s comeback in the Power Horse World Team Cup in Dusseldorf, Germany.
After Tatsuma Ito had given Japan a 1-0 lead over the Czech Republic, Berdych defeated Go Soeda, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, before compatriots Frantisek Cermak and Radek Stepanek prevailed in the decisive doubles in the Red Group tie, beating Ito and Soeda 6-2, 7-6(4) in 84 minutes.
“I felt good, it was a good game,” said Berdych. “I played the opponent for the first time and I was quite surprised. He played really well, especially in the second set. He made me work hard until the end and I’m happy to get the point for our team.”
World No. 7 Berdych is representing the Czech Republic at the Rochusclub for the sixth time and has a 13-4 event record. The 26 year old has been in good form on the European clay, reaching the final in Madrid and the semi-finals in Monte-Carlo.
Janko Tipsarevic gave Serbia, the 2009 champion, an unassailable 2-0 lead over Croatia by beating Lovro Zovko 6-0, 6-0 in 46 minutes Earlier, Viktor Troicki defeated Ivan Dodig in straight sets.
Meanwhile, Pauline Parmentier ousted top seed Sabine Lisicki, 6-4, 6-4, in the first round of the WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg.
Also winning their first-round matches were Stephanie Foretz Gacon and Ramira Paszek.