Novak Djokovic notched another victory against world number 1 Rafael Nadal in Rome with a score of 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday, stretching his unbeaten record to 37 matches. This is the fourth final where he has beaten Nadal since the start of the year.
Djokovic defeated Nadal for the first time on a few weeks prior to the Italian Open, showing the world how he could dominate the world’s top player even in his best surface. His victory at the Italian Open is his second victory over the top ranked Spanish player and makes him the first player to beat Nadal twice on clay.
“It’s an incredible honor to be a part of tennis history in some way and part of an elite group of players - Federer, Nadal, McEnroe, (Ivan) Lendl, guys who were winning so many in a row,” he said. “Don’t know how much good it brings to tennis, but it’s good that someone else is able to win other than just Federer and Nadal. It makes it more interesting.”
“I’m just most happy about the game I have this year on clay - the way I’m striking the ball and the way I’m so self-confident,” Djokovic said. “I always knew I could beat the top players, but now I have the confidence to do it.”
The Serb chalked the win to the favorable weather conditions that opened up right after his semi win over Andy Murray. He only had a few hours of rest before facing off with Nadal but conditions during the match were very similar to Paris conditions, helping his performance.
Nadal has won the Italian Open in five of the past six years, so this defeat is a big blow. He acknowledges that Djokovic is the man to beat, but also says that the Serb’s winning streak cannot go on forever.
“I have to wait for my moment to win and I know that,” Nadal said.
Both players are taking a break before Roland Garros which is fast approaching.
“I will definitely not touch the racket for the next four days,” Djokovic added. “Rest is very important right now and then getting ready for Roland Garros.”