World number one Novak Djokovic of Serbia won a record 36th Masters title by beating the Argentine’s Diego Schwartzman in the Italian Open on Monday, September 21, 2020.
The 33-year-old Serb, playing in his first tournament since being disqualified from this month’s US Open, won straight-sets 7-5 6-3 in the final to ensure he goes into next week’s French Open on a high.
Djokovic drew level with Spanish superstar and World number two Rafael Nadal last month on the all-time list of Masters winners with his Western & Southern Open title.
Watched by a crowd of about 1,000 socially distanced fans, Djokovic got off to a poor start against Argentine eighth seed Schwartzman, finding himself two breaks down at 3-0 as the rain fell in Rome.
Djokovic again fell behind at the start of the second set but immediately broke back against Schwartzman, who beat favourite Nadal in the quarterfinals.
It is Djokovic’s 81st career title and fourth of the year and sends him to Roland Garros with a spring in his step after his humiliating exit from the US Open, where he was defaulted for accidentally hitting a ball at a line judge.
The French Open starts on Sunday, September 22, 2020, with Nadal seeking a record-extending 13th men’s singles title in Paris.