Spain’s Rafael Nadal has claimed a record 34th ATP Masters 1000 crown, beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 with a statement victory in an epic Italian Open final.
The win on Sunday was huge for Nadal, the world number 2, who broke his tie with Djokovic at 33 Masters 1000 titles, Efe news reported.
Nadal has now won nine trophies at the clay-court event in the Italian capital, a record in the history of the tournament.
“So very happy for the victory, I play well, so just enjoying that moment,” Nadal said after the match.
“Win a title is important but for me the most important thing is feel myself competitive, feel myself healthy, and then with the feeling that I am improving,” the tennis great said.
In their 54th match, the longest rivalry in tennis history, Nadal battled the Serbian world number 1 for two hours and 25 minutes.
The Spaniard grabbed his first title of the season, avenging his loss to the top-ranked Serb at the Australian Open.
Nadal, known as “the King of Clay,” started the match with a big statement, winning the first set with a 6-0 bagel over Djokovic in just 39 minutes of play, clinching his fourth bagel overall in Rome.