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Nadal beats Djokovic to win ninth Italian Open title

ROME: Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, Four-6, 6-1 to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34th Masters crown on Sunday.

World number one Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th assembly with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his profession.

Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the record for Masters wins -- the pair were degree at 33 each earlier than Sunday's last -- in a well timed spice up forward of his attack on a 12th French Open crown in per week's time.

After three semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid, Nadal has returned to his perfect shape forward of Roland Garros and lifted his first title of the season.

The Spaniard ruled early with Djokovic dropping a suite 6-0 for the primary time to a participant he describes as his "greatest rival".

But Nadal missed 4 destroy chances in the second one set, losing his first set this week after dropping serve at Four-Five, to throw the Serb a lifeline.

The fightback was transient as the 31-year-old Djokovic dropped his serve instantly within the 3rd set, smashing his racket in frustration.

Nadal broke his opponent twice more to seal a 3rd win over Djokovic in their five Rome finals, although the latter still holds a 28-26 profession edge.

Nadal, seeded moment, was enjoying his fourth straight semi-final, however had no longer controlled to head further on clay this season.

The 32-year-old were stunned by Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded eighth and 12 years his junior, within the semi-finals at the Madrid Open last weekend.

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