Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to win his 9th Italian Open title and a record 34rd Masters on Sunday.
The world’s number one Djokovic, winner at last week’s Madrid Open, produced numerous errors during his 54th match with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his career.
Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the list for Masters wins – a perfect boost ahead of his assault on a 12th French Open crown in a week’s time.
After three semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal has returned to his best form ahead of Roland Garros and lifted his first title of the season.
The 32-year-old had been stunned by Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded eighth and 12 years his junior, in the semi-finals at the Madrid Open last weekend.