Nadal beats Djokovic to win 10th Italian title in Rome

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World No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain won his 10th Italian Open with a 7-5 1-6 6-3 victory over World No. 1, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, in Rome.

Both players dropped serve early on in the first set before Nadal took it after securing the key break at 5-5.

Djokovic dominated the second set but paid for not taking two break points in the fifth game of the decider.

A stunning backhand from Spaniard Nadal saw him break the Serb in the next game before he went on to hold his serve and nerve to close out the match.

The match was their 57th meeting and Djokovic, 33, has had his lead in their head-to-head wins tally cut to 29-28.

It proved an enthralling final and, despite Nadal being broken in his first service game, he recovered it as the Serb dropped his serve in the next game.

Nadal, 34, was angered by a fall after he slid on the line in the seventh game but recovered his composure to go on and take the first set.

Djokovic drew level with a comprehensive display and quick second set before he had a chance to assert himself in the decider.

However, Nadal saved two break points at 2-2 and, after going 40-0 up in the next game, sealed a crucial break with a backhand down the line before securing victory in two hours and 49 minutes.

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