Johanna Konta beaten in Italian Open final by Karolina Pliskova
May 20 2019
Rome: Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34th Masters crown on Sunday.
Nadal's 6-0 opening set was the first bagel between the two in now 144 total sets.
The top seed fought back in the second as he saved four break points before winning the decisive game on Nadal's serve to take the set 6-4.
But Nadal, an 11-time French Open champion, broke immediately in a tense deciding set and showed trademark tenacity to finish off his Serbian opponent, who dumped a final backhand volley into the net.
It was a timely morale booster heading into the usual defence of his French Open title, as he had failed to win any prior events in his clay court campaign.
There was much concern surrounding the physical state of Nadal, 32, before last week after three consecutive semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.
In the WTA final, Czech fourth seed Karolina Pliskova swept past Britain's Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4 for her 13th career title, which assures her the world number two spot on Monday.
Speaking to reporters later, Djokovic said, "I was just running out of fuel a little bit today".
"I played well, a great match in general terms", he said.
But after watching this week, how are you going to win three sets off Rafa at Roland Garros?
The final set was similar to the opening one, with Djokovic not facing a single break point and capitalizing on a key break-point opportunity in the sixth game.
"I'm really glad that I managed to get into the third set, considering the first set where I was blown away from the court", said Djokovic.
"It's always a special match against Novak, he's having a great season, winning in Australia, Madrid and in the final here".
The 54th meeting between the world's top two players saw the Serb, perhaps sufferings the effects of those two gruelling matches, overwhelmed by Nadal, who was ruthless with his trademark forehand. "Before the tournament, I was not super confident, not thinking about the final at all".
The 1.7-meter (5-foot-7) Schwartzman is known as one of the best counterpunchers on the ATP Tour, but on Saturday he consistently tried to take the initiative and also made effective use of the drop shot after pushing Djokovic out of position.
You can start a free seven-day trial of FuboTV right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the match on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, or other supported device via the FuboTV app. She plays with big shots, quite flat, and big serves.
"Before the tournament, I was not super confident", said Pliskova, a 2017 French Open semi-finalist.