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Djokovic builds momentum for French Open 2022 with sixth Rome Masters Tennis title

Novak Djokovic poses with the trophy during the Internazionali BNL D’Italia 2022 Final match between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas on May 15, 2022 at Foro Italico in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

The first four months of Novak Djokovic’s season earned an incomplete grade to put it generously and a disappointing one to put it more accurately based on his lofty standards.

But with the most important part of the year coming up (three majors in a little more than three months), Djokovic appears to be heating up at just the right time.

The top-ranked Serb won a title for the first time in 2022 by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6(5) in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final on Sunday afternoon. Djokovic recovered from a break down in the second set to triumph after one hour and 36 minutes.

“I pleasantly surprised myself, I can say,” the 34-year-old said. “I had a clear game-plan and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do. I did play a perfect first set. After that it was a little tighter. At this level, one or two points can turn a match and he was then back in the game at 4-1 up.

“The match could easily have gone to a third set but I managed to find the right shots at the right time to come back into the match. The tiebreak I was maybe an inch better, but it was a tight, tight tiebreak for both of us.”

Photo credit: Internazionali BNL d’Italia Facebook.

This is Djokovic’s sixth Rome title and his record 38th Masters 1000 title overall. By far his best week of the year from start to finish sets him up nicely for the season’s second Grand Slam, which begins next Sunday.

“Two days ago (in the quarterfinals against Felix Auger-Aliassime) I played great,” the 20-time major champion assessed. “I have been building my form for the past couple of weeks and I knew that my best shape on clay usually comes around Rome time, so it could not be better going into Roland Garros with a title.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.