Spanish superstar Rafa Nadal has returned to number two in the world after a 7-5 6-3 victory over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters on Monday.
The final had been postponed due to rain, but the Spaniard wasn’t affected by the delay as he dominated to inflict revenge on the Serbian for last year’s defeat in the same event.
With the French Open fast approaching, Nadal will be delighted with the victory as preparation for Roland Garros. It was Nadal’s second defeat of Djokovic this European season, his previous at Monte Carlo with the Serbian reeling after the death of his grandfather. Certainly, the latest has more significance.
However, Nadal was more pleased with his form, not losing a set, rather than getting one over Djokovic.
“I’m happy that I won in Rome without losing a set. I was facing some of the best players of the world this week,” Nadal said.
“The most important thing is not to win against a particular player but to win the most important title of the year for me. This is why I am happy now.”
Djokovic responded by saying Nadal was the best in the world on the surface, indicating he should be favourite in Paris.
“He is always the favourite, even if I’ve won against him seven times (2011 finals),” said Djokovic. “He is the best player in the world on this surface.”