Rafael Nadal beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters and moved back to No. 2 in the world tennis rankings.
Nadal beat top-ranked Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 at Rome’s Foro Italico in a final that had been delayed by a day because of rain. It was the Spaniard’s 21st Masters title, a record.
It’s Nadal’s sixth Rome title and his second defeat of the Serb on clay this season. The Spaniard, seeking a record-breaking seventh French Open men’s crown in the tournament starting next week, beat Djokovic in the Monte Carlo final in April. That ended a seven-match losing streak against him.
Nadal will now move ahead of Roger Federer of Switzerland in the rankings of the ATP World Tour, meaning he won’t play Djokovic before the final at Roland Garros. Djokovic is trying to win four majors in a row at the French Open, where he’s never made the championship match.