2022 In Review: Novak Djokovic Leaves Rafael Nadal Further Behind

Novak Djokovic leaves Rafael Nadal further behind


world no. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6 in the final of the Rome Masters. Novak needed one hour and 36 minutes to dismiss the Greek in the Foro Italico, delivering a bagel in the first set and trapping the opponent in the closing stages of the second set to seal the deal.

Thus, Novak lifted his sixth crown at the Foro Italico, ranking as the second most successful player after Rafael Nadal. Djokovic secured his 38th Masters 1000 crown, leaving Nadal at 36 and extending his record. The Serb clinched a Masters 1000 title in Season 14 and got a boost ahead of Roland Garros.

Novak celebrated his 1,000th ATP win in the semifinal against Casper Ruud and lifted his 87th ATP title a day later. Djokovic ousted Tsitsipas for the seventh time in nine meetings and the sixth time in a row. Novak fired six aces and earned 20 more points than his opponent thanks to a one-sided first set.

Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the final in Rome.

The Serb served 70% and dropped 14 points in nine service games. He faced two break points and was broken once. He led Stefanos to a 5-2 lead in set number two, but it wasn’t enough for the Greek to force a decider.

Tsitsipas struggled on the second serve and was broken four times in six chances given to Djokovic. Thus, he finished runner-up in his fifth Masters 1000 final. Novak had the advantage in the shortest and longest rallies to forge victory and move closer to his 90th ATP crown.

The five-time champion broke up in love in the first game of the match after a terrible volley from the rival into the net. Djokovic clinched the second game with a forehand winner and denied all three of Tsitsipas’ game points in the next.

Novak seized a break opportunity when Stefanos made a backhand error to open a 3-0 gap and set a good pace. Struggling to find range with his backhand, Tsitsipas made another mistake in game five to fall 5-0 before long.

Novak closed out the first match with a big winner in the next, providing a bagel in 29 minutes and hoping for more in set number two. The Greek raised his level and produced four comfortable holds to keep the pressure on the no.

1. Stefanos broke Novak at 15 in the fourth game after a prolonged rally and fired an ace in the next to take 12 of the previous 14 points and advance 4-1. Djokovic faced a break point in the sixth game that would have cost him the set.

He denied it with a backhand crossover winner and closed out the game for a push. Stefanos nailed a forehand cross winner in game seven to open a 5-2 gap and served for the set in game nine. Djokovic rallied at the last moment at 3-5 after a routine forehand error by Tsitsipas, who was unable to recover in the remaining games.

Novak held on easily in games ten and 12 to introduce a tiebreaker, and they held neck and neck until 5-5. A service winner offered Djokovic a match point. He took advantage of it after another loose backhand from his rival to celebrate his sixth Foro Italico crown.

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