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Photograph: Getty Images

Novak Djokovic won his first title of 2022, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-0, 7-6 (5) in the Rome Masters final.

The title was Djokovic’s sixth in Rome and extends his record to 38 ATP Masters titles.

In a special week for the world No. 1, he became just the fifth man in the open era to win 1,000 matches on the ATP Tour. The Serb also extends his record-breaking time as world No. 1 into a 370th week.

In an opening set onslaught, Djokovic dismantled Tsitsipas. Djokovic’s defensive groundstrokes and unwillingness to give up on any ball were on full display as he left his Greek opponent in shock.

Tsitsipas showed more fight in the second set and showed the form that helped him claim the title in Monte Carlo. However, Djokovic was able to come back from 2-5 in the second set to win the last clay-court Masters title of the season.

“I pleasantly surprised myself I can say. I had a clear game-plan and I knew what to expect, so I knew what I had to do, but I did play a perfect first set," Djokovic said post-match.

"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 tie-break I was maybe an inch better, but it was a tight, tight tie-break for both of us."

Both men will now turn their attention to the French Open with Djokovic aiming to close the gap on Rafael Nadal’s record of 21 Major titles.


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