World No. 1 Novak Djokovic did not drop a single game in the first set of the Rome final against Stefanos Tsitsipas, as the Greek lost a gameless set 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 dropped a set without a win as Djokovic beat the Greek in the Rome final 6-0 7-6(5). Djokovic sent Tsitsipas a message early on, breaking the Greek in the first game of the match.
Tsitsipas commanded three game points in the third game but was unable to convert them as Djokovic got the second break from him and opened up a 3-0 lead. In game five, Djokovic did not allow Tsitsipas any game points and claimed the third break from him to take a 5-0 lead.
Djokovic then routinely served to clinch the first set in the next game. Djokovic was down 2-5 in the second set, but he broke back to Tsitsipas in the ninth game and sent the set to a tie-break. In the tie-break, the two players tied at 5-5 before Djokovic won back-to-back points to seal a straight-set victory.
"I can say that I have surprised myself. I had a clear game plan and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do, but I played a perfect first set," Djokovic said in his on-court interview.
Nick Lester comments on Novak Djokovic
According to former tennis player turned commentator Nick Lester, Novak Djokovic has found his form ahead of the second Major of the year.
"He played three or four matches (Belgrade Open), all of them going three sets, that really gave him a foundation to work with, he got better in Madrid, and this week didn't drop a set on the way, I think this is the 11th time that he has won a Masters without dropping a set," Lester said.
The World No. 1 often peaks at the Italian Open, coming into the French Open, as evidenced by his six titles in the tournament. Lester said: "Massive week for him, absolutely massive. How often he finds his mojo in Rome, I mean, if you look back through the years, coming into the French, he tends to start the clay court season a little slow, Monte Carlo has not been his most successful venue and of course this year coming in under a very different set of circumstances," Lester stated.