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SportBack on top: Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title

20:31  19 may  2019
20:31  19 may  2019 Source:   ap.org

Federer, Nadal and Osaka through to last 16 in Rome

Federer, Nadal and Osaka through to last 16 in Rome Federer, Nadal and Osaka through to last 16 in Rome

The Djokovic – Nadal rivalry is a modern-day tennis rivalry between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal . The rivalry is the most prolific of the tennis Open Era.

Watch: How 'scary' Djokovic destroyed Nadal . Novak Djokovic won a record seventh Australian Open title and a third successive Grand Slam as he swept aside Rafael Nadal in Melbourne. Djokovic , who was the top seed, fell to his knees after sealing another triumph on Rod Laver Arena, smacking

Back on top: Nadal beats Djokovic for 9th Italian Open title© The Associated Press Rafael Nadal of Spain sweats during his final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the Italian Open tennis tournament, in Rome, Sunday, May 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

ROME — Rafael Nadal is right back where he wants to be.

After losing in the semifinals of three straight clay-court tournaments, Nadal dominated for stretches against his longtime rival, Novak Djokovic, in a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 win Sunday for a record-extending ninth Italian Open title.

It marked the first time in an Open Era-record 54 meetings, and in their 142nd set against each other, that Nadal won a set against Djokovic without conceding a game -- otherwise known as a bagel.

Kyrgios defaulted for throwing chair onto court in Rome

Kyrgios defaulted for throwing chair onto court in Rome Nick Kyrgios walked off the court in a fit of rage after throwing a chair onto the red clay at the Italian Open and was defaulted from his second-round match against Norwegian qualifier Casper Ruud. Kyrgios has a history of bad behavior. He was suspended by the ATP Tour in 2016 for "tanking" a match and insulting fans during a loss at the Shanghai Masters. The latest incident occurred on an outer court at the Foro Italico with Ruud leading 6-3, 6-7 (5), 2-1. The men's tour said Kyrgios will lose his $33,635 in prize money from the tournament and 45 ATP points, adding there will likely be further punishment pending an investigation.

Watch highlights as Rafael Nadal beats Nick Kyrgios for his second China Open title in Beijing. Reasons Why Novak Djokovic Is The Most Complete Player Ever - Продолжительность: 15:21 Rafael Nadal - Top 10 Opponents Who Never Won Against Him - Продолжительность: 29:20 Tennis

Djokovic reached the top 40 in the world singles rankings after making his first quarterfinal appearance at a Grand Slam event, coming at the French Open Three weeks after Wimbledon, Djokovic won his first ATP title at the Dutch Open in Amersfoort without losing a set, defeating Nicolás Massú in the final.

The timing for Nadal's return to form could not have been more opportune, as he will seek a record-extending 12th title at the French Open starting next weekend.

"Winning a title is important but for me the most important thing is feel myself competitive, feel myself healthy," Nadal said. "Then with the feeling that I am improving. I know if I'm able to reach my level you can win, you can lose, but normally I'm going to have my chances, especially on this surface."

Top-ranked Djokovic, meanwhile, appeared exhausted after spending more than 5 hours on court against Juan Martin del Potro and Diego Schwartzman the previous two days.

Djokovic was also coming off the Madrid Open title last week.

"I don't want to talk about fatigue or things like that," Djokovic said. "Rafa was simply too strong today."

Read More

Record-setting Djokovic into last-eight, Nishikori to face Nadal.
Novak Djokovic on Monday became the first man to reach the French Open quarter-finals for 10 successive seasons while Kei Nishikori set-up the toughest challenge on a clay court -- facing Rafael Nadal. Top seed and world number one Djokovic continued his bid to hold all four Grand Slam titles simultaneously for the second time by thrashing Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3, 6-2, 6-2. The 32-year-old will now face either ninth-seeded Italian Fabio Fognini or fifth seed Alexander Zverev in what will be his 13th appearance overall in the quarter-finals in Paris. "It was tricky with the rain, but that's Paris," said the 2016 champion after playing in drizzly conditions.

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