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Monday, May 21, 2012

NEWS: "Clayman" Nadal wins at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Nadal and Djokovic show sportmanship
The stage was set right from the outset. In the men's final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Novak Djokovic faced two break points at the hand of clay court master Rafael Nadal. But the Serbian wall did stand in that game. Then at 5-5, the wall sprung its first tiny leak as Nadal broke to 6-5. One questionable line call led to the tiniest of mental gaps from the world number one Djokovic and, before you could say Guillermo Vilas, Nadal had taken the set 7-5. Both men pounded on offense and scrambled on defense, but when the clay dust cleared, Nadal had taken his 6th trophy at the Foro Italico, won his 21st ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown, and  recaptured his world number 2 ranking from Roger Federer. 

Said the 24-year-old Djokovic afterwards, "he is the best player in the world on this surface." The contest lasted two hours and 20 minutes and finished with the Djoker's 4th double fault and a final score of 7-5, 6-4. Novak has already taken the Australian Open this year where he defeated Nadal in an epic final. But Nadal has now taken the Serb twice on clay as they move towards the red clay French Open final at Roland Garros. Rafael Nadal may have found the formula he needed this year as he had seven consecutive losses to Djokivic between the Spring 2011 Indian Wells tournament and the 2012 Australian Open in January.  

I have little doubt that Djokovic will be searching deep to regain a foothold and maintain his world number one ranking as we move towards toward this years' other three Grand Slam tournaments. 

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