Sunday, May 11, 2008

Novak Djokovic claims his first Rome Masters Title!

Novak Djokovic won his fourth Masters Series title, first on clay, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets, 4:6, 6:3, 6:3 in 2 hours and 5 minutes.

This is his tenth career title.

The match didn’t start well for Novak. He made many unforced errors. The Swiss played really great, put the pressure on Djokovic and broke his service in the fifth game. Both players held their services till the end of the first set, and Wawrinka won it 6:4 in 39 minutes.

Novak played much better from the middle of the second set. He made less unforced errors, and won 78% of points on his second service (it was only 38% in the first set). He made a break in the sixth game for 4:2 lead and after 40 minutes closed the second set 6:3.

Djokovic put enormous pressure on Wawrinka in the opening game of the third set, and broke his opponent’s serve after a long rally when the Swiss made an unforced error.
Wawrinka was serving in the nineth game to stay in the match. Djokovic booked his first championship point on his rival’s serve, but Wawrinka saved it. Novak took the chance on his second championship point, this time with a glorious forehand winner.

"This is one of the best tournaments I've won," the Serb said in fluent Italian after receiving the winner's trophy from four-time Rome champion Gabriela Sabatini.

Djokovic's third victory of 2008 will move him within 310 points of second-ranked Rafael Nadal in the ATP rankings.

Djokovic acknowledged he is a contender to become No. 1.

"I hope so. But I don't want to think about No. 1 yet," he said. "I know a lot of people will start talking now about me being one of the best players. Let's see. I'm taking it as it comes."

Next week Novak is playing another Masters Series tournament, in Hamburg.

As the third-seeded, Novak is BYE in the first round. In the second round he’ll play against the winner of the match between Juan Ignacio Chela (ARG) and qualifier.

Last year Djokovic made it to the quarterfinals. Roger Federer won the title, beating Rafael Nadal in the finals.

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