Nadal beats Djokovic to win ninth Rome title

World number one Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal.

Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates after winning against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas during their ATP Masters tournament semi-final tennis match at the Foro Italico camp in Rome, on 18 May 2019. Picture: AFP

ROME - Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34rd Masters crown on Sunday.

World number one Djokovic, winner at the Madrid Open last week, produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal.

Nadal overtakes Djokovic at the top of the list for Masters wins -- the pair were level at 33 each before Sunday's final -- in a timely boost ahead of his assault on a 12th French Open crown in a week's time.