Rafael Nadal is once again the king of Rome: the Spanish champion defeated the world number one, Novak Djokovic, with a score of 7-5, 1-6, 6-3, winning his tenth trophy at the International BNL of Italy. Nadal, who despite this success will not be able to regain the second position in the ATP ranking currently held by Russian Daniil Medvedev, will still be able to reach Roland Garros in Paris with greater confidence, after the worrying defeats suffered in Monte Carlo and Madrid. During his last game in Rome last Sunday, Rafa scored a nice point after a short ball from Djokovic, but he slipped and risked serious injury from the small nails present in one of the lines of the court. At the post-match press conference, the Iberian champion said: “I don’t want to create problems, but it’s dangerous. I was irritated because the other day I was on the verge of a serious injury. The same thing happened today. The line was higher than the ground. You arrive fast and in tennis this is brutal. Anything can happen. I was lucky enough to drop the racket very quickly to free my hands and avoid the problem. But he was upset, yes. “Nadal won his 88th career title, which puts him in fourth place in this special ranking: he is behind Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (103) and Ivan Lendl (94). His rival Djokovic remains in 82 titles, having missed his Belgrade win a few weeks ago. The Tour will now continue with appointments in Geneva, Lyon, Parma and Belgrade 2, and then it will continue with the French Open and the grass season. Of particular note is Federer’s return to the Swiss ATP 250, where opponents of the caliber of Denis Shapovalov, Grigor Dimitrov and Casper Ruud await him.
Rafael Nadal is once again the king of Rome
In the aftermath of the final, Rafael Nadal stressed that his victory was a big step forward in the context of his clay season in 2021. “Paris is the most important place in my career. I’ll have a couple of days off and work on things that I think I can do better,” the World No. 3 said. “I also need to relax mentally. Winning always gives you an extra (boost) and the main thing is that I take a very important title. With my victory here my clay season improves. It was an honor to play with him (Djokovic) again,” Rafael Nadal said. “I don’t know if it (winning in Rome) will influence Roland Garros. All I know is that I have won one of the most important tournaments in the history of our sport. In life, what has no solution you cannot regret,” the 34-year-old said. “You have to change what can be done, what has happened can no longer be fixed. I can play better in what comes. My goal was to go to Rome and win. We live in the present and if you lose, in the future you can win.”