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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