Nadal defeats Djokovic in Italian Open final
Rafael Nadal claimed his first ATP Tour title of 2019 after defeating Novak Djokovic in Sunday's Italian Open final.
The Spaniard has now won the tournament in Rome on a record nine occasions, claiming this 6-0 4-6 6-1 success in two hours and 25 minutes.
Nadal was at his emphatic best during the first set, as he did not even drop a game, but Djokovic, who was feeling the effects of two gruelling matches against Diego Schwartzman and Juan Martín del Potro earlier in the week, was able to respond during the second, taking it in just under an hour.
However, that appeared to take a lot out of the Serbian, who had his serve broken during the opening game of the final set and was never able to recover, showing his frustration as he demolished his racquet when he was staring defeat in the face.
By contrast, Nadal was able to keep his cool as he sealed his first victory on the ATP Tour since his triumph at the Canadian Open last August.
The win has also further underlined Nadal's credentials to go on and win a record-extending 12th French Open title - with the second Grand Slam of the year set to get underway at Roland Garros later this month.
Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.