The 2008 Rome Masters 1000 was won by Novak Djokovic, and he returned to the Foro Italico a year later to make it to the semifinals. The two best players in the world, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, stood between Novak and his second title in Rome, but the Serb passed the first test with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over Federer in the semi-final.
Two hours and eleven minutes later, Novak emerged victorious over Roger despite trailing by a combined 3-1 in sets two and three. This set up a showdown between Rafael Nadal and Nadal. Djokovic defeated Federer for the fourth time overall and for the first time on clay. He did so by saving eight of Federer‘s eleven break point opportunities and winning five break points himself.
With two break points in the third game of the second set, Federer had a chance to extend his lead to 6-4, 3-0 and move closer to the finish line before rain forced them off the court for 70 minutes. Djokovic responded to the comeback by playing with more intensity, winning the set decisively and setting up a decisive third set.
The Serb conceded that it would have been tough to compete with Roger if the latter had jumped out to a 6-4, 3-0 lead, but claimed that, once they resumed play, he played with more vigor and stamina. When play resumed, Djokovic saved a break point to keep himself in the match, but he eventually got broken himself to bring the score to 3-3.
Swiss made another backhand error in the eighth game, allowing Serb to complete an impressive comeback and win the set on his serve, 5-3. After dropping the first five games of the deciding set, Federer battled back to win the fourth game by breaking Djokovic at 15 and extend his lead to 3-1 thanks to a forehand error by Novak.
Djokovic evened the score at 3-3 when he broke Federer in game nine with a forehand crosscourt winner and then got Federer to make an error in game ten.
Twenty-one Grand Slams were won by Nole.
Since the United States does not permit non-vaccinated people to enter their territory, Novak Djokovic should miss the US Open unless something incredibly unexpected happens.
While Goran Ivanisevic understandably feels let down, he still stands by his player and defends him vigorously when they come under fire. I value and respect him, but he made a choice he can’t reverse. It’s not true that he’s a leader or that he has a negative influence on the people.
He has never discouraged anyone else from getting vaccinated, but he also has no interest in getting one himself. A Croatian coach said, “I respect and support his decision,” and Tennis365 reported that he meant it.