Djokovic wins Italian Open title

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja

World number 1 Novak Djokovic has defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Italian Open to claim his first title in 2022.

Djokovic displayed his mastery of the sport by flushing out Tsitsipas 6-0 7-6 (7-5) to record the sixth consecutive win in a headto-head contest between the duo.

The Serbian, who has suffered a tumultuous season, was denied entry into Australia to compete in the Australian Open due to his unvaccinated covid-19 status.

The reigning Italian Open champion was also prevented from competing in the Miami Open and the Indian Wells over the same covid-19 issue.

Djokovic suffered a quarter-final defeat to Cech’s Jiri Vesely in the 2022 Dubai Duty-Free Championship and recently ended his Madrid Open campaign in the semi-finals after wunderkind, Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz, defeated him 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-7 (5-7).

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However, the undeterred world number 1 shrugged off the Madrid Open defeat to dislodge all his opponents in Rome, including Greek Stefano Tsitsipas in the final to claim the trophy after a sixmonths trophy drought.

“I’ve been building my form the last few weeks,” Djokovic said post-match. “It couldn’t be better timing coming into Roland Garros.

“Perfect scenario for me. “This year it was a particular situation. With everything that happened in Australia, it took some time. I found my best shape here. I’m going to Paris with a lot of confidence,” Djokovic added.

It took Djokovic over six months to win another title (his sixth Italian Open title) after he won the Paris Masters in November, 2021.

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