ATP Rome: Novak Djokovic tops Stefanos Tsitsipas and wins sixth Foro Italico crown
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4735
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6 in the Rome Masters final. Novak needed an hour and 36 minutes to dismiss the Greek, delivering a bagel in the opener and catching the rival in the second set's closing stages to seal the deal in straight sets.
Thus, Novak lifted the sixth crown at Foro Italico, standing as the second most successful player at this event after Rafael Nadal. Djokovic secured the 38th Masters 1000 crown, leaving Nadal on 36 and extending his record.
It's Novak's 14th season with at least one Masters 1000 crown, and he will be the top seed at the upcoming Roland Garros, where he defends the title. Djokovic's 87th ATP title came a day after securing the 1000th ATP victory in the semi-final, and he will travel to Paris with a massive boost ahead of the season's second Major.
Djokovic ousted Tsitsipas for the seventh time in nine encounters and for the sixth time in a row.
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the Rome final.
Novak fired six aces and took 20 points more than his rival thanks to a one-sided opening set.
The Serb served at 70% and dropped 14 points in nine service games. He faced two break points and suffered one break. It led Stefanos towards a 5-2 lead in set number two, but it was not enough for the Greek to force a decider.
Tsitsipas struggled on the second serve and got broken four times from six chances given to Djokovic to finish runner-up in his fifth Masters 1000 final. Novak had the advantage in the shortest and more extended rallies to forge the victory and move closer to his 90th ATP crown.
A five-time champion broke at love in the encounter's first game and opened a 3-0 gap with another return game on his tally. Struggling to find the range with his backhand, Tsitsipas sprayed another error in game five to find himself 5-0 down in no time.
Novak closed the opener with a smash winner in the next one, delivering a bagel in 29 minutes and hoping for more in set number two. The Greek raised his level and produced four comfortable holds to keep the pressure on world no.
1. Stefanos broke Novak at 15 in the fourth game and landed a forehand crosscourt winner in the seventh to open a 5-2 gap. Djokovic broke back in the last moment at 3-5 after a routine forehand error from Tsitsipas, who will never recover his shots.
Novak held with ease in games ten and 12 to introduce a tie break, and they stayed neck and neck until 5-5. A service winner offered a match point to Djokovic, and he seized it after another loose backhand from his rival to celebrate the sixth Foro Italico crown.