15
May
11

The remarkable Novak Djokovic remains unbeaten as the players head to Roland Garros.

Djokovic

Novak Djokovic maintained his unbeaten record in 2011 and landed his seventh title in an already astonishing year by defeating Rafael Nadal 6-4 6-4 in the final of the Rome Masters. The Serbian has now won 39 consecutive matches – 37 this year – and will head to Roland Garros for the French Open confident of adding to the Australian Open crown he claimed in January. Nadal fought valiantly but he has now lost in four finals this year to Djokovic – in Indian Wells, Miami and, last week, on clay in Madrid, as well as Rome.

In a final of astonishing quality, the two players traded heavy groundstrokes from the back of the court with little to separate the top two in the world. But it was Djokovic who struck first to break for a 5-3 lead when the Spaniard shanked a backhand long. Nadal struck back immediately but he could not stave off Djokovic’s charge and the Serbian broke again to wrap up the set. The momentum continued in the second with Djokovic claiming the Nadal serve to go 2-0 up. But again he conceded the break in the next game as Nadal, a five-time winner at the Foro Italico, hit back as he tried to retain the title he had won in the past two years. The match remained on serve until 4-5 on the Nadal delivery. Djokovic upped his game to move 40-0 up and, after Nadal had saved the first three match points, the Serbian won it on his fourth by putting away a forehand when a Nadal groundstroke sat up nicely after hitting the net.

Djokovic is now just seven wins away from matching the longest winning streak in ATP Tour history, a run of 46 consecutive victories achieved by Guillermo Vilas in 1977.

 

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