Rafael Nadal has set up a rematch with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who beat the former world No 1 in Madrid.
Rafael Nadal scored an emphatic win against world No 1 Novak Djokovic to claim the Italian Open in Rome.
"You were asking for titles".
Djokovic has won 13 of the last 16 meetings against Nadal, but his last loss came in last years Italian Open. It's not usual and probably will not happen again... the first set is just an important part of the match. Djokovic looks to win his third title of the year and his 75th title of his career.
The 20-time grand slam champion had been on court for almost four hours on Thursday, saving two match points to win through in three sets against Borna Coric after earlier easing to a straight sets win over Portugal's Joao Sousa.
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.
Djokovic was happy to push Nadal to a third set as he lamented some fatigue after his run to the final.
"He used it very well, he's been playing some terrific tennis throughout the entire week and he was just too strong". Just kind of missed that half a step, especially on the backhand side.
The Foro Italico crowd continually tried to encourage Djokovic with chants of "Vai Nole!"
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Nadal broke in the opening game of the decider, prompting Djokovic to demolish his racquet in frustration and with the Serb continuing to falter with drop shot attempts, Nadal surged to a 58th clay court title.
Djokovic and Nadal most recently met in the Australian Open final earlier this year, with Djoker getting the straight-set victory.
The 42nd-ranked Konta served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken at love. Also, Nadal won 23 of the 31 rallies with nine or more shots. Pliskova then asked Martinez and the rest of her team to come down onto the court for her victory celebration.
"I'm going to repeat my normal routines".
Reigning US and Australian Open champion Osaka withdrew with a stiff right hand giving Madrid Open victor Kiki Bertens a ticket to the semi-final. "To get to the finals is really a great result", Djokovic said. "Before the tournament, I was not super confident, not thinking about the final at all".
"I've been through some tough moments after Indian Wells".
The results: Women: Final: Karolina Pliskova bt Johanna Konta 6-3, 6-4.
Tsitsipas advanced after Federer - returning to clay after a two-year absence - retired with a right leg injury before their game. She's able to really show up to every match. It can feel sometimes you're fighting an uphill battle.
Pliskova attributed a lot of her success to Conchita Martinez, the four-time Rome champion who she recently named her head coach. "That's important for me", he said.