After Paris, Barcelona and Monte-Carlo, Rafael Nadal adds the title number ten to the series of successes also at the Italian Open, in Rome. After having canceled a handful of match points to Denis Shapovalov, and having solved the problems of Reilly Opelka, the very Spanish champion wins an extraordinary match also against Novak Djokovic.
The Serbian world no.1, after a very complicated first set, leveled the score with a brutal 6-1, but failed to land the decisive push in the deciding set. The result? A 1-11 break that from the second available break point turns into a 2-5 disadvantage.
Of ringworm, heart and above all experience, the Spanish champion drags himself on 7-5 1-6 6-3 at the threshold of two and a half hours of play. Together with the title number ten in Rome, Rafa obtained the nineteenth victory against Djokovic over red, shortened to 13-15 in the finals, equalized the score in the ATP Masters 1000 (at an altitude of thirty-six) and at the foot of Paris he sent a strong signal.
The king, by name, is still Rafael.