Spaniard Rafael Nadal is once again the king of Rome: the champion from Palma de Mallorca defeated world number one Novak Djokovic with a score of 7-5 1-6 6-3, going to lift his tenth trophy at the International BNL of Italy.
Nadal, who despite this success will not be able to regain the second position of the ATP ranking currently occupied by the Russian Daniil Medvedev, will still be able to arrive at Roland Garros in Paris with greater confidence, after the worrying defeats suffered in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
During his final match in Rome last Sunday, Rafa scored a beautiful point on a short ball from Djokovic, but he slipped and risked a serious injury due to the small nails present on one of the lines of the field. Speaking at the press conference after the match, as also reported by the Punto de Break website, the Iberian champion said: “I don’t want to create problems, but it’s dangerous.
I was irritated because the other day I was close to a serious injury. The same thing happened today. The line was higher than the earth. You get there fast and in tennis this is brutal. Anything can happen. I was lucky to let go of the racket very quickly to free my hands and avoid the problem.
But I was annoyed, yes” Nadal won the 88th title of his career, which puts him in fourth place in this special ranking: he is behind Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94). His rival Djokovic is now stuck at 82, having missed his Belgrade triumph a few weeks ago.
The Tour will now continue with the appointments in Geneva, Lyon, Parma and Belgrade 2, and then continue with the French Open and the following season on grass. Of note is Federer’s return to the Swiss ATP 250, where opponents of the caliber of Denis Shapovalov, Grigor Dimitrov and Casper Ruud await him.
Courier talks about Rafael Nadal
Former pros Jim Courier and Andy Roddick recently gave their thoughts on Rafael Nadal’s Italian Open triumph. Courier claimed that Nadal’s 10th title at the Foro Italico was a ‘statement win’ given how he fought through some tough matches, while Roddick reiterated how privileged he considers himself to see Nadal and Djokovic play each other.
“(It) puts him (Nadal) in great position now, especially with the two weeks off,” Courier said. “Good for both of these guys unless Novak decides to play in Belgrade like he is slated to – I doubt that. I think that both will rest and get ready for what really matters and that is Roland Garros.”
Jim Courier further opined that even though Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic put in a lot of effort into the Italian Open, their main concern is doing well at the French Open. “Rome matters to almost everyone and they (Djokovic and Nadal) care about it but the real history they are playing for, happens in a few weeks,” Courier added.