Djokovic Beats Federer for Rome Title Heading Into Roland Garros
by Staff | May 18th, 2015, 1:51 am

Novak Djokovic outclassed Roger Federer 6-4, 6-3 on Sunday to win his fourth Internazionali BNL d’Italia title in Rome. It was the fifth title of the year for the World No. 1, who improved to 19-20 career versus the Swiss.

“Roger put a lot of pressure on my service game at 4-4, but I managed to respond well, to gain those break points, move him around the court, and then I played a couple of great points that gave me the set,” Djokovic said. “When you’re a set up, the momentum is shifting to your side and you start to feel better.”

Djokovic keyed on the Federer backhand during the two sets, directing almost 70 percent of groundstrokes to that side.

Djokovic, who turns 28 on Friday, has now won 22 straight matches and 26 at the Masters 1000 level. He has won all the major events this year including the Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and now Rome. The goal remains the French Open.

“It gives me a great deal of satisfaction the fact that I won these tournaments,” he said. “I don’t think that I need to gear up or do anything special in order to be successful at the Roland Garros. I have been very close to that title before, played several finals, I just need to continue preparing myself for that event as I prepare for any other and try to keep the routine going and hope it will take me where I want to be.”

Djokovic has now won four of the five Masters 1000 tournaments in 2015 and has extended his win streak to 22.

Federer finished runner-up for the fourth time in his elusive quest for the Rome title, but was pleased with the run to the finals.

“I think if you take a last minute decision and you knew you were going to make the finals, you’d play every week,” said Federer who also beat Top 10s Tomas Berdych and Stan Wawrinka. “I had some really good matches and today 80 per cent of the match was good too.”

Federer drops to 2-1 vs Djokovic this year and suffered his third loss to the Serb in Rome.

“I know I can play better too,” Federer added. “Novak was rock solid today, he played great throughout, he made very few unforced errors, he was able to take that opportunity that presented itself. I’m happy, feeling good and healthy and looking forward to Paris next week.

“The conditions were totally different, there was very few long rallies today that shows the conditions were very quick, lot of bounce, something that was hard for both of us to keep the extended rallies. If we had some it was unusual because all the rallies were two or three shots points.

Djokovic and Federer will be seeded No. 1 and 2, respectively, at the French Open. They won’t be able to meet again until the French final.

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39 Comments for Djokovic Beats Federer for Rome Title Heading Into Roland Garros

chris ford1 Says:

Djoker’s reaction to a double kiss by his parents – priceless!

Part of the fun was being able to hang out with them for several days in Rome, and also with his brother Marko.

And in a “nobody’s perfect moment” he almost showed up in Paris with a black eye (or not shown up at all!) from a cork launched by a bottle of Roger’s endorsed Moet Chandon. It hit the klutz’s nose and forehead instead. Treated for slight cuts on his nose courtside.
Could have been very serious, but he took it with humor. He will need to practice safe champagne opening skills, because he will be having to open many more in the coming years.

Part of the celebration was Nole ensuring that the trusty cameramen stay well-hydrated.

Michael Says:

Novak by any standard is now the strong favourite at Rolland Garros. I think he now relishes Clay courts more than other courts (even his favourite hard). It appears that it is going to be a incredible year for Novak, even much better than his 2011 stint which should automatically propel him to the hierarchy of the “All Time Greats” especially in the creamy category.

SL Says:

Novak is not only a strong favorite at the French, but I think he has the best chance of a calendar gram slam on the men’s side in as long as I can remember, which is about 35 years.

Couple his extraordinary consistency with Nadal’s decline, Federer’s age (he is almost 34 after all and nowhere near the player he once was) and the rather mediocre next gen (Nishikori, Raonic, Dmitrov, Cilic and company), and the stars have aligned perfectly.

If he does not win 5 or 6 more majors in the next 18 months before the inevitable decline starts, I think he would be disappointed.

Zozza Says:

Djokovic will win 8 grand slams before his career ends
Who is gonna stop him

Federer 18 slams
Nadal 17 slams
Djokovic 16 slams

Klaas Says:

Hmm, I would like to remind everyone that RG is played on a thin layer of gravel on top of cement.
This will make the court a bit faster, and the bounce higher, both of which work in favor of Federer and Nadal against Djokovic. It is no coincidence that Nadals most difficult matches all have been in miserable weather.

We shall see. I look forward to a highly interesting RG.

Nitesh Says:

this is the best chance Novak has for FObut calendar slam talk is quiet premature

Giles Says:
Hey Wally, didn’t you know you have to position the bottle away from your face before opening? LMAO

Nitesh Says:

I have found Djokovic as the perfect all round player with no limitations game wise or health wise now. Entering any tournament since last 4 years he is highly consistent in making till Sunday. This year every thing is perfect first of all his game to the best level humanly possible I must say & his nemesis having consistency issues age etc. If not this time it will be more difficult in 2016 . He & his team have been devoting themselves completely french open themselves completely since last three times every time there was one last hurdle called ” Nadal ” . But this time he is seeded 7 th he might meet him in quarters or somebody else might knock out Nadal in quarters for him.

Nitesh Says:

Talking about Nadal’s chances at F O I would say 30 % chance . He is playing like berdych & wawranika . Getting into quarters semi-final mostly but after that going out easily.

Giles Says:

Hey Nitesh, or somebody other than Nadal might knock Joker’s block off. Seppi and Tsonga almost did a few years ago. If Rafa is playing well seeding is a non-issue.
Vamos Rafa!
Vamos Rafa!

sienna Says:

yeah right Nadal is level Berdych…what a joker you are.

keep dreaming and stick your head in a big pile of sheits.

sienna Says:

and what kind of percetages are you giving him playing like wawa or berdych…

you only got 100% to give away. so Berdych and wawa get also 30%? or perhaps 5 or 10.

id like to der the complete % making items 100% and also incorporate the fact Nadal is on berdych level and djokovic is favorite (heavy)

remember Cilic gets atleast 10% being current slamholder….

mridul1 Says:

Back in 2010 when Murray was playing good tennis, tennis lovers hurriedly labeled him as a favorite for the Australian Open. Federer laughed at the idea citing the fact that he had not yet won a single GS and that GS was completely a different animal. Federer is still saying that Nadal is the favorite for French Open 2015 and I think he has the reason to say so. After all, it is a fact that Nadal has lost only once in so many years at Roland Garros. I do not understand why you people think that he has a chance of only 30 percent of winning Roland Garros. Last year also, he might have lost in Madrid masters if not for injury of Nishikori and he came up so strong for FO.

FedExpress Says:

Hahahajah. All talking about a possible GS whereas nole hasnt won GS and never will.

And he wont win 6 more majors the next 18th months

apart from 2011 he hasnt won more than one slam in one season.

FedExpress Says:

*hasnt won FO

Giles Says:

Nitesh. What does 30% even mean?
You talk too much!

Wog Boy Says:

Really nice wrap up for 1000 Rome masters. Staff, how long took you to write this wrap up…5, maybe 6 minutes?
That’s ok, I know, Istanbul is more coveted tournamet than Rome.
Twenty four hours later and TX is still in mourning, who would have thought so;)

SL Says:

@ FedExpress. I am not saying he will win the calendar GS or win 6 of the next 8 majors, but I think the opportunity is there for him to do so. It’s not ONLY because he is such a great player, but also because of how circumstances have lined up.

I strongly believe Federer 2004 – 2009 vintage is the best player at least in the Open era, and would have been no. 1 over Novak or anyone else today if he was still in his prime. But he is not in his prime, far from it. Neither is Nadal today. Even Andy Murray is not quite the same player he was in 2012-13, although many hopeful fans would like to believe he is.

Given the current scenario, and Novak’s ability to play consistently for many matches in a season, its difficult to see who can stop him.

Giles Says:

Joker bribes the journos with chocolates and Jane fraternises with the female journos! Lol

SL Says:

@ mridul1. I don’t think for Rafa its just about the results. It’s also HOW he is losing these matches, extraordinarily high number of unforced errors, playing loose points at key stages, and how up and down he is, solid one match and quite terrible the next. In fact, everything that a guy looking to win a major in 2 weeks time should not be.

Giles Says:

PS. Should have said “Jane schmoozes the female journos”.

Emily Says:

A calendar slam is so difficult to pull off, one bad match against someone who’s playing their best game and you’re out, doesn’t matter who you are. Novak doesn’t strike me as indestructible as Federer during his prime, but the calendar slam was never a reality w/ Nadal around to win the French.

I think Wimbledon could be a challenge, even though Novak’s defending champion. He had two five setters last year, including his match w/ Cilic. I think we’re all getting ahead of ourselves, b/c I would never count out Rafa at the French.

Margot Says:

Lol Wog Boy @ 8.06 I thought that! It’s been what a million, at least, articles about Rafa’s possible demise and half a page on Nole’s win.
Can’t type for the tears, I suppose…;)

Margot Says:

Typo on my part this time, lol. Nowhere NEAR half a page! Half a paragraph more like!

KatH Says:

Yes Sienna: Marin Cilic is a current USA-GS holder – which would have helped for WTF placement in 2014.

Otherwise, (apart from Wimbledon which takes some account of Grass Court success in its rankings), I don’t think current GS holders gain any ranking benefit at the French GS or Aussie GS??

I could be wrong ?????

Wog Boy Says:

I have to be honest, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first saw Roma wrap up, but I think they heard us, they even added some videos…for such unimportant tournament;)

KatH Says:

Anyone wanting a few chuckles, grins? Have a look at
“Bright Lights Agitate The Stanimal”

There’s others including Gulbis –really funny.

Purcell Says:

Sure is a weak era in champagne popping CF1.

Emily Says:

Every year, they talk about changing the seeding at RG and it will never happen. How many years was Roger seeded #1 and Rafa was #2? It makes sense, especially since there are clay court specialists, but what can you do? Someone’s going to have to meet Rafa in the quarters. The tough part for him is that players believe they can beat him now. Even though it means a lot to beat the KOC on clay, it is a huge confidence boost to get a straight set win. Both Murray and Stan said that they didn’t think Rafa was at his best, but they achieved what people once saw as impossible.

Also, being a GS owner has nothing to do w/ seeding, other then you will be seeded higher b/c of increased ranking points. It only helps you when it comes to qualifying for WTF.

That light argument was pretty ridiculous in Madrid, but both players complained. However, I did notice that the lights had dimmed for the next night match.

ABerg Says:

Rublev vs Cilic should be good test for both.

Muhammed Says:

For those who haven’t seen this:

I like analysis from Craig, always supported by numbers. And this is particularly true:
“While winners and unforced errors are always calculated on a stat sheet, it’s the forced errors that matters the most, offering a repeatable pathway to secure victory at all levels of the game.”

KatH Says:

Emily – of course it was ridiculous – but it was so ridiculous it was funny – the look on their faces etc.

Hope you looked at the Gulbis pics re. the Water bottles – unbelievable….

Nitesh Says:

enjoy people Says:

Novak has established himself now as a runaway favourite for RG. So here’s a parlour game for any Xers interested: In what years was Rafa a heaver favourite than Novak is now? Certainly not last year when Novak was seen as a very close second (many said first) favourite.

jane Says:

^ every other year from 2006-13? :D

Wog Boy Says:

I read this on the other forum:-)

Do you know why Federer lost to Nole in Rome final?

Pseudofed gave us the answer: ” I’ve never won Rome before, so why start now?” #philosophy #consistency.

elina Says:

Wog Boy, your comment on the T-X Rome final summary really did make me laugh out loud!


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