Djokovic wins fifth Italian Open title
Djokovic wins fifth Italian Open title to make Masters history, World number one Novak Djokovic
overcame a sluggish start to lift his fifth Italian Open title on Monday,
Defeating Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters crown.
Nine-time Rome winner Nadal, the defending champion, fell in the quarter-finals to eighth-seed Schwartzman.
Playing in his maiden ATP 1000 final, eighth seed Schwartzman raced out of the blocks to convert two break
point opportunities for a 3-0 lead as Djokovic’s usually clinical backhand offered up some errors.
An on-and-off drizzle at Foro Italico, which included a smattering of fans,
added to Djokovic’s frustration but he still found a way past Schwartzman’s serve to draw level at 3-3.
Novak Djokovic‘s relentless baseline hitting came to the fore when he broke Schwartzman in the 12th game to
take the opening set, despite committing 18 unforced errors.
Schwartzman, who outplayed defending champion Rafa Nadal in the quarter-finals, snatched another
early break in the second set but Djokovic was quick to respond.
The top seed stepped up the intensity to break Schwartzman’s serve twice before serving out the match comfortably to seal victory — clinching it with a drop shot.
“It was a great week, a very challenging week,” Djokovic, who was playing his first event since being
defaulted at the U.S. Open for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball, said on court.
“I found my best tennis when I needed it most.”
“I’m proud that I managed to find the fifth gear when I needed it.”