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Nadal sees off Djokovic in Rome
Rafael Nadal enjoyed the perfect preparation for the defence of his French Open title with victory over world number one Novak Djokovic in Monday's rearranged Rome Masters final.
The contest - a rematch of last year's final which was won by Djokovic - had to be put back 24 hours because of persistent rain on Sunday, but it was Nadal who came out on top 7-5 6-3 in two hours and 21 minutes.
The Spaniard admitted it was far from easy on court though, and said: "I had to be very focused all the time, his return is unbelievable. I suffered a lot on every serve but I was very, very focused."
He added: "The mentality was there at the right time because I know to win matches against Novak you have to be at your limit all the time because he's pushing you at every moment.
"I think I was strong mentally today, enough to play very well at the important moments."
Djokovic was gracious in defeat afterwards, saying on www.atptour.com: "He is always the favourite, even if I win against him seven times.
"He is the best player in the world on this surface.
"I think that the match today was quite close, even if he won in straight sets.
"If you don't use the opportunities against Rafa he gets momentum. I made a lot of errors which should not happen when you play against Nadal.
"I will go to Paris with confidence and I played a great week."