Novak Djokovic first player since Rafael Nadal to bagel Stefanos Tsitsipas

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Novak Djokovic first player since Rafael Nadal to bagel Stefanos Tsitsipas

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic didn't drop a single game in the first set of the Rome final versus Stefanos Tsitsipas as the Greek lost a set without a won game for the first time since the 2019 Australian Open. In the 2019 Australian Open semifinal, Rafael Nadal claimed a routine 6-2 6-4 6-0 win over Tsitsipas.

For the first time in three years and four months, Tsitsipas lost a set without a won game as Djokovic beat the Greek in the Rome final 6-0 7-6 (5). Djokovic sent a message to Tsitsipas early on, breaking the Greek to love in the opening game of the match.

Tsitsipas had three game points in the third game but failed to convert as Djokovic clinched his second break and opened a 3-0 lead. In the fifth game, Djokovic didn't allow Tsitsipas any game points as he claimed his third break to take a 5-0 lead.

Djokovic then routinely served out for the first set in the following game.

Djokovic recovered in the second set to win in straight sets

Djokovic was 2-5 down in the second set but he broke back Tsitsipas in the ninth game and sent the set into a tie-break.

In the tie-break, the two players were tied at 5-5 before Djokovic won two consecutive points to seal a two-set win. “I surprised myself I can say. I had a clear game plan and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do, but I did play a perfect first set," Djokovic said in his on-court interview.

"After that it was a little tighter. At this level, one or two points can turn a match and he was then back in the game at 4-1 up. “The match could easily have gone to a third set but I managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back into the match.

The tie-break I was maybe an inch better, but it was a tight, tight tie-break for both of us." Djokovic now heads to the French Open confident and determined to defend his title.