Listen to RFI News
Expand Player
 
Listen Download Podcast
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/20 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/19 13h00 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 1300 - 1400 GMT
    News bulletin 06/18 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/05 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/04 13h00 GMT
  • 13h00 - 14h00 GMT
    News bulletin 04/03 13h00 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Sports

Nadal outmuscles Djokovic to claim ninth Italian Open

media Rafael Nadal collected his first title of the season at the italian Open in Rome. REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

World number two Rafael Nadal has struck a psychological blow on his great rival Novak Djokovic, with a three set win to claim the Italian Open in Rome, a week ahead of the French Open.

Djokovic, the world number one, began their 54th encounter in appalling fashion. The Serb lost his opening service game and the Spaniard held to take a 2-0 lead.

Seemingly affected by his three hour semi-final against Diego Schwartzmann on Saturday, Djokovic failed to muster a response and lost his second service game to trail 0-3. His fortunes did not improve.

Nadal romped away with the set to register the first 6-0 in all of their meetings.

Djokovic finally got on the board in the second set and he showed guts at 3-3 to recover from 0-40 to go 4-3 ahead. He also saved a break point when serving at 4-4.

After flirting with oblivion for most of the set, Djokovic pounced to take it 6-4 and level at one set apiece after nearly two hours of one-way traffic.

But parity did not last long.

Djokovic dropped his opening service game of the decider and vented his frustration on his racquet, smashing it three times at the back of the court.

Ruthless

Nadal, unruffled by the theatrics, held to take a 2-0 lead and had a break point for a 3-0 advantage.

But Djokovic saved it with a sumptuous backhand winner down the line. He won the next two points to halve the deficit and maintain the intrigue.

But the tension did not last. Nadal reeled off the next four games to take the claim the set 6-1 and the match in just under two and a half hours.

It was his first title of the year and a record 34th crown at a Masters event which are considered just below the Grand Slam tournaments in terms of prestige.

"Winning a title is important," said Nadal. "But it is important to feel healthy and competitive.

"You can win and you can lose but as long as you have your physique, that's crucial."

Related
 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.