ROME (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic won the Italian Open for the sixth time on Sunday, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6 (7/5) in straight sets in Rome. In contrast, Iga Swiatek won her fifth consecutive championship by defeating Ons Jabeur.
Djokovic defeated Tsitsipas, the lackluster Monte Carlo Masters winner, to win the last major event before Roland Garros begins later this month.
The 34-year-old won his first event, confirming his return to form following a season marked by controversy surrounding the Covid-19 immunization.
“I’ve been working on my form for a few weeks, and I knew from past years that my greatest clay form comes around Rome time,” Djokovic remarked on the court.
“Coming into Roland Garros with a championship couldn’t be a better moment.”
The match on Sunday was a replay of the pair’s final at last year’s French Open. But it lacked the intensity of the Serb’s five-set thriller in Paris.
Tsitsipas of Greece, who had also reached the semi-finals of last week’s event in Madrid and still leads the men’s circuit in victories this season. Was hit by Djokovic in an unexpectedly quick match.
Tsitsipas, ranked fifth in the world. Was force apart in the first set and appear hesitant to face Djokovic. But he fought back in the second until he gave away the set after serving for the match, falling without much resistance in the tie-break.
Djokovic then addressed the fans in Italian, thanking them for helping him achieve such a fantastic record in Italy and disclosing that his son Stefan was competing in his first-ever tennis competition.
Later, he beamed with pleasure, revealing that Djokovic junior had won a tiny club championship in Serbia.
“My kid was the tournament champion. Today is a double dose of sunlight, “Djokovic said to reporters.
Swiatek triumphs in tears
After defeating Jabeur 6-2, 6-2 to regain the women’s championship. Iga Swiatek claimed she would approach Roland Garros like “any other competition.”
The world number one, Swiatek, cried tears of delight after winning her 28th match in a row. And she will be a hot favorite in Paris.
Swiatek remarked, “I’ll approach it like any other tournament. “I think everything will work out OK, and I’ll be able to maintain it that way.”
“I already know I accomplished some incredible things this season, so I’m not concerned about winning.”
In a primarily one-sided final in Rome. The 20-year-old Pole lost only one set in her past 20 outings and handled Jabeur quietly.
Last week, Tunisia’s Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab or African woman to win a WTA 1000 championship. Still, she could not extend her career-best 11-match winning run against her tenacious opponent.
Jabeur was coming off two spectacular comeback victories against. Daria Kasatkina and Maria Sakkari in her maiden Rome final on a scorching Foro Italico center court.
Another unusual comeback attempt look to be in the cards when she had three break opportunities in game seven of the second set to tie the game at 4-3, only to lose after squandering another break opportunity at deuce.
“I was wondering, ‘Why didn’t she do it a point or two before?'” Jabeur remarked as she doubled faulted at deuce.
“I gave it my all, hitting every part of the court.”
Jabeur has risen one spot in the global rankings to sixth after reaching her second consecutive final, and she is still a force to be calculate with at the French Open.