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Roman Emperor Novak

Roman Emperor Novak
September 22, 2020
Novak Djokovic conquered Rome for the fifth time from ten finals at the Foro Italico. His first title in the beautiful Eternal City was in 2008 and the last time he held the men's trophy was five years ago.

Nole had to pull out all stops as he faced Diego Schwartzman who went up a double break and led 3-0 in the first set and then had a break in the second set the world No.1 rebounded to win 7-5, 6-3 in the nick of time as rain started falling during the presentation ceremony.

This was an important week for Novak Djokovic not just because he won another title, but it allowed him to put the disappointment and shock of the US Open behind him. It gave him his 36th ATP Masters 1000 putting him in the lead with that category of event.

"I think I had a really good week. I don't think I played my best tennis, to be honest," he said. "I don't want to sound arrogant here. I'm of course very, very satisfied and pleased and happy to win a title. I know that I still have couple of gears, and hopefully I'll be able to raise that level for French, because that's going to be necessary if I want to go deep in the tournament.

"But, the positive thing is I thought I served very well throughout the tournament and I found my, let's say, A game when it was most needed in the decisive moments. When I kind of really needed to find a best game, I did."

Djokovic remains at No.1 and now passes his hero Pete Sampras with 287 weeks putting him second only to Roger Federer on 310 weeks. A record he has made very clear that he is chasing along with winning the most majors - Federer holds that record as well with 20.

"Of course I'm aware of the amount of weeks, and I don't know exactly the date, but I know it's going to be in probably the first or beginning of the second quarter of next year if I eventually maintain my No. 1 ranking," Djokovic said. "I'm getting closer. I'm in a very good position, I feel like. I have been also playing really well and been healthy, which is great.

"Those are the two biggest professional goals that I have at the moment. So, the No. 1, historic No. 1 ranking goal is something that is on the horizon, and I'm going to give my all and very best that I can possibly give in the next period to achieve that.

"And then, of course, you know, after that, obviously, the attempt to reach that, I'm going to focus on slams mostly but also Masters events, of course. But also, after that, you know, slams will be the big one, of course. Let's see. I don't know. I can't go too far, and I don't know what years to come will bring for me and just tennis and the world in general."

It was a great week for Diego Schwartzman, first beating Rafa Nadal for the first time in ten meetings and then reaching his first Masters 1000 final. Certainly, he had his chances in the final but when it mattered Djokovic was just too good.

"I think today I played a great match in the baseline and I did many good things. The first set, maybe the start of the second, I was on control - not control of the match, but doing what I want to do on court, playing aggressive, playing solid with good movements," he said. "But I think the serve, the conditions today, almost raining, was not helping me to do good serves.

"Then he start to play a little bit better. But then I had the chance again with the breakpoint. And the start of the second was the same, break up. I had the chances like I had the chances like when I played against Rafa. But today was that kind of days that you don't take the chances, and at the end, you know, Novak is Novak. The last three, four games he played unbelievable."

The doubles title went to Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 over Jeremy Chary and Fabrice Martin.
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