World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won his fifth Italian Open title when he beat Diego Schwartzman in straight sets on Monday. Djokovic won 7-5, 6-3 to also clinch what was a record 36th ATP Masters title as well.Also Read - Novak Djokovic's French Open Participation Uncertain
Schwartzman had beaten Rafael Nadal en route to his maiden ATP 1000 final and sprinted to a 3-0 lead before allowing the 18-time Grand Slam to draw level at 3-3. He fought but despite Serb committing 18 unforced error, he prevailed. Also Read - Novak Djokovic Reacts After Losing Deportation Appeal Ahead of Australian Open 2022
As if jolted by a close call in the opening set, Djokovic raised his game up a notch and sealed the title with a drop shot. Also Read - HIGHLIGHTS | Novak Djokovic Court Case: Deportation Likely
The tournament was the first time Djokovic was playing since he was defaulted for hitting a line judge during his US Open round of 16 clash with Pablo Carreño Busta.
“It was a great week, a very challenging week. I found my best tennis when I needed it most I’m proud that I managed to find the fifth gear when I needed it,” the 33-year-old said.
“Now we turn to Paris and I couldn’t ask for a better tournament here in Rome,” he added.
In the women’s field, defending champion Karolina Pliskova quite her final clash with Simona Halep due to a lower back injury. Halep was leading 6-0, 2-1 when her opponent left the court in tears.
The focus now firmly shifts to French Open now where Djokovic is one of the favourites alongside 12-time champion Nadal and US Open winner Dominic Thiem.
Djokovic has lost just one of his 32 matches in 2020.
Meanwhile, Halep isn’t taking too much pressure ahead of French Open and treating it as just another tournament.
“It’s just another tournament. I’m not going to put pressure on myself,” she said. “I played really well this year. I have three titles already. I played so much on clay. I feel confident. I just try to be happy, to take the positives from this tournament, and to go there smiling.”