| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo courtesy of USTA/Garrett Ellwood

 

Rafael Nadal got the better of Novak Djokovic in a star-studded Italian Open final on Sunday, capturing the Rome title with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 victory.

Nadal was competing in his 50th Masters 1000 final while also looking to hoist his first trophy of the season.

“What means most to me is this trophy,” said Nadal. “Rome is one of the most important tournaments of the year. [It’s a big] part of the history of our sport. To be able to win here again is the main thing.”

It is Nadal’s ninth Rome title, and he now moves ahead of Djokovic with a record 34 ATP Masters 1000 championships.

“I’m happy for the title more than winning against Novak,” said Nadal. “I am especially happy because the level was very high.”

Djokovic and Nadal maintain their spots as No. 1 and No. 2 in the world rankings.