Nadal revives before Roland Garros and slows Djokovic

He won his ninth title in Rome in a victory that included the first 'rosco' in his rivalry. It is his first title of the year and returns to be a leader in Masters 1,000.

From the rage and from the convincing, Rafa Nadal achieved a proud victory in the Masters 1000 of Rome. A liberation triumph before Roland Garros, where he was exposed to arrive without any title, something that had not happened since its inception in 2004. Derrotó Novak Djokovic by 6-0, 4-6 and 6-1 in 2h: 25. A knocker with the addition of a 'rosco' in the first set, the never seen in his 54 confrontations. Next Sunday the battle moves to Paris, where the Balearic pursues his twelfth title and which would make 18 in his Grand account Slams. The message he sends to the aspirants already runs like wildfire towards the Forest of Bologna: "I have returned" .

As if it were that chico that with 18 years that won the first of his nine Masters 1,000 in Rome, in an inhuman final to five sets against Guillermo Coria, Nadal showed the courage of the beginner who wants to knock down the number one. And he got it to , again, over the Serbian in number of Masters 1,000, with 34, after Nole had equaled him with his victory in the Mutua Madrid Open.

Nadal found a Djokovic with more kilometers in his legs, with 7h: 40 on the court in front of 5h: 29 of the Spanish, demanded in two hard three-set matches against Del Potro and Schwartzman. And he launched to neutralize it out. With hellish rhythm, with high balls, with a deep and lethal drive, managed three breaks that put him with 6-0 in 39 minutes. Even the marble statues of the ancient Foro Italico rubbed their eyes.

On the ocher tapestry, something more than a game was being played. It was a fight for supremacy with an eye also on Paris. Djokovic had defeated the Balearic in 13 of his last 16 matches, the most recent a hurtful 3-0 in the final of the Australian Open in January. But the word surrender is not in the Serbian dictionary. The audience, anxious for battle, began to chant "Nole, Nole!", And it grew. Nadal lowered his pressure a little, he did not take advantage of three break balls for 4-3 and another for 5-4 and he took ... and he paid. The one that broke was the Serbian to take the partial, equalize the match and inflame the harrow.

In the beginning of the third, the gladiator's biceps tightened. Nadal did not lose temper and broke in the first game. The Serbian was so digested, so hard was the task, that he smashed his racket against the floor. With, again, a huge and armored Nadal on serve would come break for 4-1 and another for 6-1. An overwhelming ending ... and everything counts for Paris.

Nadal did not win a title since August 13 last year in Toronto. Then he had to retire from the US Open with his right knee battered and did not reappear until Melbourne. He had fallen in the semifinals in the land of Monte Carlo, Godó and Madrid. He seemed groggy, disoriented. He only had the last bullet in Rome to meet again. He shot and hit her. In the center.


1. Rafa Nadal 3


2. Novak Djokovic 33

3. Roger Federer 28

4. Andre Agassi 17

5. Andy Murray 1


6. Pete Sampras 11

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