ROME, ITALY - MAY 15: Novak Djokovic of Serbia holds the trophy after his victory in the final against Rafael Nadal of Spain during day eight of the Internazoinali BNL D'Italia at the Foro Italico Tennis Centre on May 15, 2011 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal For 2011 Italian Open Title

Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal for the second time this season on a clay court. Both will head to the French Open next week, but it's Djokovic who has all the momentum.

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Novak Djokovic Defeats Rafael Nadal For 2011 Italian Open Title

Just days before the start of the 2011 French Open, No. 2 Novak Djokovic defeated No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 in the Italian Open final on Sunday afternoon. This was a rematch of their 2009 Italian Open final, which Nadal captured 7-6 (2), 6-2. But Djokovic turned the tables in Rome, scoring his fourth straight finals win over Nadal in 2011.

Djokovic had previously beaten Nadal in the BNP Paribas Open, the Sony Ericsson Open and, just last week, the Madrid Open.

Djokovic has won 37 straight matches to start 2011 and 39 overall, including his Davis Cup matches from Dec. 2010. John McEnroe holds the men's record for consecutive wins to start a season with a 42-0 start in 1984.

In the women's final, Maria Sharapova, who defeated No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals, sent Sam Stosur to defeat, 6-2, 6-4. This should set her up for a strong run at the French Open.

Neither Djokovic nor Sharapova have won a French Open title yet.

For more tennis news and notes, visit The Daily Forehand.

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