It is a perfect 10 for Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open after he passed the stiff test posed by Novak Djokovic in two straight sets of 7-6 6-3 in a battle that was just four minutes shy of two hours.
The two players stayed on serve all through the first set until the tiebreak that Nadal took 7-4. The quality was there for all to see and Nadal must know that Djokovic will be a close challenger at the French Open that kicks off on May 27.
The first serve percentages were high with Djokovic making 71% of his first serves while Nadal made 60%, which won him 64% on his first serve while Djokovic 60% on his first serves. Nadal had suffered 19% of his 36 losses on clay to the Serb and this victory will put him in good stead as he seeks an 11th French Open title.
Nadal now awaits the winner between Marin Cilic and Alexander Zverev as he bids to win a 10th Italian Open title and a return to No.1 on Monday.