World number one Novak Djokovic outclassed Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5th in the world) this Sunday, May 15, 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) to win the Rome Masters 1000 for the sixth time, one week before the start of Roland-Garros (May 22-June 5). By succeeding on the list of winners to Rafael Nadal, emperor with ten Roman coronations eliminated this year in the eighth, the 34-year-old Serb won his first title of the year, confirming his return to great shape after a first quarter almost at a standstill due to of his non-vaccination against Covid.
Entering the club of players with 1,000 victories on Saturday with Jimmy Connors (record holder with 1,274 successes), Roger Federer, Ivan Lendl and Rafael Nadal, “Nole” won the 1,001st after a strange match, marked in particular by the unexpected slump in the first set of the Greek, winner in April in Monte-Carlo. A week before the big Parisian meeting, where Djokovic will try to join the record holder Nadal in the number of grand slam victories (21), this final has already given a little flavor of Roland-Garros to Rome with the reissue of the last final of the Porte d’Auteuil, won by “Nole” after a battle in five sets.
The fight this time took half an hour to start, the time it took for Tsitsipas to enter his final. The Greek was unable during the first set to respond to a steamroller Djokovic, who finished the set 6-0, giving up only ten points to his opponent. Tsitsipas finally raised his game in the second set, when the Serb lost some of his serenity. ‘Nole’ played a bit too lightly on some drop shots and showed some signs of annoyance when the Greek broke him to take the 3-1 lead.
Finally consistent, Tsitsipas thought he could push the Serb into a third set for the first time this week in Rome. But it was without counting on the confidence at the zenith on the Roman clay of the world number one. The latter was able to regain his usual solidity to unbreak and master the decisive game to win his sixth title, for his twelfth final on the Foro Italico.