Nadal beats Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 to win Italian Open
(AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)
ROME (AP) Rafael Nadal beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to win his record sixth Italian Open title.
Djokovic had 41 unforced errors, including a double-fault on the last point to give Nadal his 49th career title and his 35th on clay.
Nadal won the Italian Open for the third time in four years, his streak interrupted last year by Djokovic. Nadal moved back to No. 2 in the rankings, ahead of Roger Federer.
Nadal struggled with his serve early in the match, but an overturned call in the 10th game seemed to swing momentum. Djokovic had just held at love and had a chance to earn two break points.
A line judge called the Serb's shot out initially, so after the umpire overruled the decision, they had to replay the point. Nadal won the replayed point then held his serve to make it 5-5.
Nadal broke in the next game, drawing Djokovic to the net before sending a sharp volley past him. A frustrated Djokovic smashed his racket against a net post and was given a warning. Nadal clinched the first set when Djokovic hit long.
Nadal immediately broke Djokovic's serve again in the second set as the Spaniard took control of the match.
Updated May 21, 2012