Nole falls to Rafa in the Rome Masters finals!

World number three Novak Djokovic failed in attempt to defend his Rome Masters title. He lost to world no.1, a clay court master Rafael Nadal, in straight sets 6-7(2), 2-6 in 2 hours and 3 minutes.

This was the fourth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the season and both players were appearing in their third final. Nadal now leads 13-4, 8-0 on clay. Djokovic was looking for his second title of the year, but Rafa was better once again to win a record fourth title in Rome, and increase his winning streak to 30 straight matches on clay (he lost last May in Rome to Juan Carlos Ferrero).

The spectators were ready for another spectacle between these two players on a sunny day in Rome.

Djokovic started well. He had two game points, but a couple of errors brought up break point for Nadal. A long rally ended with Novak hitting wide and he got broken already in the opening game. The Spaniard had a break/set point in the ninth game, but Nole held for 5-4 with an ideal first serve. Rafa was serving for the set when the 21-year-old earned two break points and equalised to 5-5 after a forehand miss from Nadal. World no.1 broke back straight away to go 6-5 up, but Nole again managed to make a break to level the result. The Serb made more errors in a tiebreaker, Nadal made three mini-breaks and won it 7-2.

Djokovic found his way back from 40-0 to deuce in the opening game of the second set. He had a chance to break, but Nadal held when Novak’s lob went wide. At 2-3 Nole double-faulted on break point to hand the break to no.1 seed. He got broken once again in the eighth game and Rafa took the set 6-2.

Djokovic hit 23 winners to Nadal’s 19, and made 40 unforced errors, 18 more than his opponent.
Nole converted 2 of his 4 break points, while the Spaniard capitalised on 4 of his 5 chances for break.

Watch winner’s ceremony:

As a runner-up Novak gets 203,000 euros and 600 ATP points. Djokovic will fall one place in the rankings after Serbia Open, for the first time since August 13, 2007. Andy Murray will take over as world number three on May 11.

Nole will next play at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament in Belgrade, in front of his home crowd. Serbia Open starts tomorrow and will be held until May 10, for €450,000 prize money. The winner will get €75,500 and 250 ATP points.
As no.1 seed Djokovic starts from the second round. He will meet either his compatriot Janko Tipsarevic or Argentine Sergio Roitman.

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