It seems like Rafael Nadal is no longer the French Open favourite.
Novak Djokovic grabs the third Italian Open title defeating Nadal in the Rome final.
After 19 minutes of Tennis, 26-year-old Djokovic beats Nadal 4-6, 6-3, 6-3. The Serbian won four consecutive matches against the world’s number one and defending champion. Djokovic also won five out of the six ATP Masters 1000 events.
This year’s French Open, also called Roland Garros, will start on Sunday. Nadal is the French Open champion eight times. Despite this record and his exciting win against Djokovic in last year’s semi-finals, the Spaniard won’t be back as French Open favourite this year.
Nadal lost the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. It is the first time that he was defeated two times in clay court in a season since 2004.
Nadal said there were positive things that happened in the tournament, but he said he played three difficult matches this week and it was hard mentally and physically. He said he was a bit tired.
For Djokovic, the victory was very emotional for him, especially that his home country experienced severe flooding. The flood claimed 35 lives and displaced thousands of families. Djokovic said people are struggling and are losing their homes. There are a lot of casualties, but the government hasn’t given exact numbers and names yet, because they discover new bodies as the flood recedes, he said.
Djokovic said it is a very emotional week for him. He is happy to win the tournament, but his thoughts and his love is with the Serbian people.
Djokovic was edgy at the start of the match, but after establishing his range, he dictated the entire game. Nadal started out strong, but it was Djokovic who ultimately made a momentum.