Rafael Nadal is once again the king of Rome: the Spanish champion defeated the world number one, Novak Djokovic, with a score of 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, getting his tenth trophy at the International BNL in Italy. Nadal, who despite this success will not be able to recover the second position in the ATP ranking currently held by Russian Daniil Medvedev, will still be able to reach Roland Garros in Paris with greater confidence, after the worrying defeats suffered in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
. During his last game in Rome last Sunday, Rafa scored a nice point after a short ball from Djokovic, but he slipped and risked serious injury from the small nails present in one of the lines of the court. At the post-match press conference, the Iberian champion said: “I don't want to create problems, but it is dangerous.
I was irritated because the other day I was on the verge of a serious injury. The same thing happened today. The line was higher than the ground. You arrive fast and in tennis this is brutal. Anything can happen. I was lucky to drop the racket very quickly to free my hands and avoid the problem.
But he was upset, yeah. "Nadal won the 88th career title from him, 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 remains at 82 titles, having missed his victory in Belgrade a few weeks ago.
The Tour will now continue with appointments in Geneva, Lyon, Parma and Belgrade 2, and then it will continue with the French Open and the grass season. 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.
After the final, Rafael Nadal stressed that his victory was a great step forward in the context of his clay season in 2021. “Paris is the most important place in my career. I'll have a couple of days off and work on things that I think I can do better," said the world No.
3. "I also need to relax mentally. Winning always gives you an extra (boost) and the main thing is that I take a very important title. With my victory here, my season on clay improves. It was an honor to play with him (Djokovic) again," said Rafael Nadal.
Rafael Nadal has won a whopping 62 titles on clay
In a recent conversation with Welovetennis, Jean-Rene Lisnard claimed that even though he had a bias towards Roger Federer, he couldn't deny that Rafael Nadal's showing at the Italian Open reinforced his status as the 'strongest' player of all.
"In Rome, Nadal has again proved that he was really above (everyone else)," Lisnard said. "For me, he is the strongest, even finally in front of Roger Federer whom I love so much. He is playing for nothing," Lisnard continued.
"After that, we would not even ask ourselves this question of GOAT if there were a few more tournaments on clay during the year. The circuit is still ultra dominated by the hard. I do not find that necessarily logical and I dare not imagine Rafa's record if the clay was more present on the international scene."