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After a week of grueling matches, the Italian Open 2020 is on the final night. World Number 1 Novak Djokovic is on his way to face Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. After an error-filled US Open 2020 which ultimately saw him getting defaulted out off the Grand Slam, Djokovic clung to the Italian Open 2020 in an effort to shut off his haters.

Novak Djokovic clinches dramatic first set

The final stop before the French Open 2020, Novak Djokovic was the one to serve first. Clinching early points, Djokovic was clear about his intentions. He was here for the trophy. Although he let his overconfidence take control too soon in the first game. Schwartzman trailing 30-0 returned a few good hits. Unforced errors from Djokovic saw David equalizing the scores before he went on to break the service to go 1-0 up in the set.

The Argentine resumed with his service and displayed some real quality in his game. One game up, David was capitalizing on Djokovic’s errors. Although the Serbian kept his nerve to take the game to the deuce. Djokovic was aiming for a break to level the game points. Although, he failed as Diego held his service to lead 2 games to 0. A little drizzle on the court caused a little stir for the players. Although they were asked to continue by the chair umpire.

Novak Djokovic was not satisfied with his game until now. He was seen mumbling to himself and seemed dejected. Two games down and his service to go, Djokovic was trying to focus on his game to make a comeback. The Argentine was on a mission to stretch his lead. He knew it won’t be easy to defeat Djokovic once he gets his rhythm. Therefore he decided to attack him vigorously. His intent won admiration as well as the game. Breaking Djokovic for the second time in a row, the 28-year-old lead 3-0 in the set.

Comfortably leading 3 games, Diego decided to cut some slack. Djokovic clinched this opportunity to come out of his skin. Playing the “Djoker” tennis which he plays, he broke Diego’s service to bounce back and reduce the gap. Although the Argentine still leads 3 games to 1.

Back into service, Djokovic viewed the perfect opportunity to put pressure back onto his opponent. Spectacular service, followed with intense cross-court rallies and razor precise finishing sealed the deal. The set was far from over as Djokovic bounced back from 3 games down to make it 3-2.

The pressure which was on Djokovic all these while, changed course to shift to Diego now. Packing up 2 games in quick succession, Djokovic was intimidating the Argentine. Winning a couple of points, Djokovic quickly went up by 30-0 in the game. Two points away from equalizing the game point, Djokovic was on a roll. However, Diego pulled back magnificently to drag the game towards a deuce although it was ultimately won by Djokovic. Equalizing the set 3-3, Novak was booming with confidence and his array of shots were visible across the court.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during the final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman Riccardo |REUTERS

Winning 3 games on a row, the Serbian was grilling the Argentine. But the game was far from over and he looked hungry for more. Storming towards World number 15, Djokovic took his 4th game on the trot. Diego failed to answer Djokovic’s lethal rallies and he lost his lead for the first time in the match.

Diego was not ready to accept defeat so easily. He was playing the finals and his intent was clearly visible. Resonating a winning attitude, Diego resisted Djokovic’s returns to claim the game with his service. Breaking Djokovic’s streak of 4 games, he claimed his 4th to step on an equal footing.

Into the 9th game of the first set, the coveted long rallies came to the set. Both the players holding their perseverance and cautious, stuck to their basics. Points rolled out for each of them at regular intervals. Although definite domination was absent in this game. Long returns mixed with drop shots and exquisite topspin from both the players saw the game stretch towards deuce. Djokovic held on to his service to ride on his advantage to take the game, leading 5 games to 4.

Diego Schwartzman was serving to stay on the game. When he was leading the game 3-0, rarely did the thought of serving to save the set cross his mind. However, a handful of games down we see that happening. Down by a game, the Argentine was looking forward to gaining on his service. After a staggering feud, 8th seeded Diego emerged victorious to level the game 5-5.

Djokovic leashed out his inner beast as he took the next 2 games with ease. Diego made an effort to stay the game although, it wasn’t enough to grant him a win. 40-30 down in the final game, Diego hit his return a bit too long to hand over the set to Djokovic.

The Serbian pockets the second set as well

Repeating the first game of the first set, Diego Schwartzman broke Djokovic’s service to lead the second set 1-0 in no time. Although this time he was a bit cautious while claiming his points.

Djokovic took the time to make a comeback in the initial set. However, he wasted no effort to jump right into action early in the second set. Losing his service to Diego, Novak Djokovic turned the tables around by breaking the Argentine’s service to level the scores 1 game each in the second set.

Both the players gave each other no ground to tread upon. Djokovic was not thinking to give away his victory, while Diego was not ready to surrender easily. Holding on to their games, both took the scores to 3 games each.

Djokovic was serving to go ahead in the second set. With the intent of putting his step forward to clinch the Championship, Djokovic was pushing hard for the points. Making Diego run to fetch the returns, Djokovic easily cruised past Diego to go 4-3 up.

Two games short of the Championship, Djokovic was completely dominating the game. Diego’s unforced errors and deep baseline game fetched him the advantage by breaking Diego’s service to lead the second set 5-3.

Djokovic was serving to clinch the Italian Open 2020. Keeping his composure intact and mind focussed, Djokovic never let Diego dominate him out of the championship game point. Lethal service and equally lethal returns saw him surge ahead with 40-0 on the board. Diego Schwartzman played with his patience as he pulled off a couple of points to make the scores 40-30. After a long rally, Djokovic sealed his Championship point with a perfect drop shot, to which Diego’s answer fell wide of the legal markings. The Serbian clinched the final in a dramatic fashion winning 7-5, 6-3 against the Argentine.

Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy -Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman | REUTERS

Boost for Djokovic

Following his default in the US Open 2020, Djokovic was having a low tide in his career. The Italian Open was a parameter before the French Open 2020. Acting as a practise tournament for the clay, it was significant for the ones who came to Rome after the hard-court tournaments.

The Championship in clay will be giving Djokovic a steer clear ahead of his opponents. Probably the win gave him the needed confidence to clinch his 18th Grand Slam in Roland Garros. All eyes on to the French Open now to see how it turns out for the Serbian.

 

 

 



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