Italian Open 2012: Rafael Nadal Defeats Novak Djokovic For Title

A day later than planned due to rain, Rafael Nadal is the 2012 Italian Open men's champion. Maria Sharapova defeated Li Na on Sunday for the women's title.

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21 Total Updates since May 13, 2012
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Italian Open 2012 Scores: Nadal Vs. Djokovic Men's Final Postponed

Due to the inclement weather in Rome, the men's final at the 2012 Italian Open has been postponed until Monday. The rainy conditions were unrelenting on Sunday, with drizzle delaying the women's final by two hours. The women were able to eventually resume play, with Maria Sharapova defeating Li Na in three sets.

But the highly anticipated men's final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was called and re-scheduled for Monday. Both the players and representatives from their camps met on the court before the scheduled start, but the postponement announcement followed shortly.

Djokovic is looking to defend his title in Rome, after defeating the Spaniard last year in the men's final. Nadal is hoping to reclaim the No. 2 ATP World Ranking after Roger Federer jumped over him last week with a win in Madrid. A Nadal win would be his sixth at the Italian Open.

For more on the Italian Open stay tuned to this StoryStream and SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

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Maria Sharapova Wins 2012 Italian Open After Li Na Collapse

You don't see tennis players implode on themselves as quickly and as violently as Li Na did in Sunday's final of the 2012 Italian Open. Na seemingly had the match and the tourney in hand, leading 6-4 4-0, and then, well, everything fell apart.

Na lost eight consecutive games behind a slew of unforced errors and allowed Sharapova to break her serve three times. When all was said and done, Sharapova had won the second set 6-4 and had a 2-0 lead in the third. Na regained her composure to force a third-set tiebreak, but Sharapova took control there, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, eventually earning the 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win.

The match was made slightly more epic -- or unbearable -- by incessant rain toward the tail end of the day. Rain first struck with the match at 5-5 in the third set then, after play resumed, began again before the deciding tie-breaker. The delays lasted roughly two hours.

It's Sharapova's second win on the year, and would have been Na's first since last year's French Open. With the French Open looming, it's great for Sharapova to earn the win on clay. Not much you can say about Na, who seemed the better player for so long but just didn't have the ability to perform when it counted. That said, the stage will only get bigger and the pressure higher at Roland Garros, so she should work on that composure thing if she wants to win her second major.

For more on the Italian Open stay tuned to this StoryStream and SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

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Italian Open 2012: Novak Djokovoic, Rafael Nadal Back In Shape For Finals

That blue clay in Madrid. Yeah. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal hated it. They also were both booted from that tournament in the quarterfinals.

The red clay in Rome. Yeah. Djokovic and Nadal love it. They are both in the finals, the same spot both were a year ago for the Italian Open. Nadal lost that one 6-4, 6-4.

With the blue dirt behind them and the red dirt of Roland Garros ahead, the world No. 1 will face the world No. 3 for the 28th time in their career. Nadal narrowly leads that series 17-14.

Djokovic made it into the final after defeating Roger Federer, 6-2, 7-6 (4), while Nadal beat countryman David Ferrer in straight sets for his advance to the finals.

Both top ATPers have won two titles in 2012. Djokovic has the first Slam of the season, Australia, as well as Miami. Nadal won Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

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Italian Open 2012: Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams In Action On Day 3

Big names are in action on Tuesday on both the men's and women's side of the Rome Masters draw. The No. 1 ranked man in the world, Novak Djokovic, plays an early evening match at the 2012 Italian Open against young Australian star Bernard Tomic at the Centrale stadium court. They'll be followed by Serena Williams and Galina Voskovoeva, who play the final match of the night on the big court.

Also in action on Tuesday are Andy Murray, Maria Sharapova and American John Isner. Here's the complete schedule for the third day of the Rome Masters.

Centrale, starting at 6 a.m. ET

Christina Mchale vs. Maria Sharapova
Lukasz Kubot vs. Potito Starace
David Nalbandian vs. Andy Murray

Not before 1:30 p.m. ET

Novak Djokovic vs. Bernard Tomic

Not before 3:00 p.m. ET

Serena Williams vs. Galina Voskoboeva

Supertennis Arena, starting at 5 a.m. ET

David Ferrer vs. Fernando Verdasco
Juan Martin del Potro vs. Michael Llodra
Venus Williams vs. Simona Halep
Timea Bacsinszky vs. Sara Errani

Not before 1 p.m. ET

Viktor Troicki vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Pietrangeli, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Petra Kvitova
Flavia Pennetta vs. Maria Kirilenko
Juan Carlos Ferrero vs. Gael Monfils
Donald Young vs. Gilles Simon

Court 1, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Richard Gasquet vs. Jurgen Melzer
Feliciano Lopez vs. Marcel Granollers
Adrian Ungur vs. Juan Monaco

Not before 10 a.m. ET

Marcel Granollers/Marc Lopez vs. Simone Boletti/Fabio Fognini

Court 2, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Jelena Jankovic vs. Sorana Cirstea
Sabine Lisicki vs. Marina Erakovic
Roberta Vinci vs. Karin Knapp

Not before 10 a.m. ET

David Marrero/Fernando Verdasco vs. Nicolas Almagro/Pablo Andujar

Court 3, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Alberta Brianti vs. Silvia Soler-Espinosa
Julia Goerges/Vania King vs. Klaudia Jans-Ignacik/Alla Kudryavtseva
Mirjana Lucic vs. Dominika Cibulkova
Nuria Llagostera Vives/Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez vs. Ekaterina Makarova/Elena Vesnina
Jamie Hampton/Anna Tatishvili vs. Su-Wei Hsieh/Jie Zheng

Court 4, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. Pablo Andujar

Not before 6:30 a.m. ET

Sam Querrey vs. Jarkko Nieminen
Nadia Petrova vs. Andrea Hlavackova

Not before 10 a.m. ET

John Isner/Sam Querry vs. Jurgen Melzer/Philipp Petzschner
Juan Sebastian Cabal/Eduardo Schwank vs. Frantisek Cermak/Filip Polasek

Court 6, starting at 5 a.m. ET

Anna Chakvetadze vs. Sloane Stephens
Iveta Benesova/Anabel Medina Garrigues vs. Andreja Klepac/Alicja Rosolska
Petra Cetkovska vs. Olga Govortsova
Gisela Dulko/Paola Suarez vs. Sofia Arvidsson/Jarmila Gajdosova

You can check out the full men's and womens' draws at the official site of the 2012 Italian Open. We'll have coverage throughout the tournament in our 2012 Italian Open StoryStream. For more, stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated tennis hub.

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