Rafael Nadal Defeats Novak Djokovic To Win 2012 Italian Open

Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to win the 2012 Italian Open. The title was Nadal's sixth at the tournament for his career. With the win, Nadal improved to 18-14 all time against Djokovic. He also regained the No. 2 world ranking, jumping past Roger Federer.

With the French Open on the horizon, Nadal demonstrated why he is considered by many to be the best player in the world on clay. He broke Djokovic four times during the match and was broken just once in the Serb's seven opportunities. Six of those opportunities came in a second set that was closer than the score indicates. Djokovic didn't do himself many favors by giving Nadal two points in each set off double faults.

The match lasted two hours and 20 minutes. The win was Nadal's third in his last four tournament's played. He has now beaten Djokovic twice in the last month. Nadal beat the current world No. 1 at the 2012 Monte-Carlo Masters 6-3, 6-1 last April.

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

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