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May 17, 2022

Tennis: Nadal regains Rome Masters title

Rafael Nadal regained the Rome Masters crown from Novak Djokovic with a 7-5 6-3 victory on Monday, according to Eurosport.The win also returned the Spaniard to No.2 in the world rankings after Roger Federer displaced him a week ago. It is the second win in a row for Nadal over Djokovic after seven straight losses to the Serb.The Spaniard won the tournament from 2005-2007 then in 2009 and 2010. Last year he lost in the final against Djokovic.The match was originally scheduled for Sunday but was rained off amid a hail of plastic bottles from disgruntled fans. There were ominous dark grey clouds drifting across the blue sky, but the threat of more rain thankfully never materialised.

Sharapova beats Li Na to take trophy

Maria Sharapova  (Photo) saved match point to beat Li Na 4-6 6-4 7-6(5) in the WTA Rome final after a two-hour rain break effectively turned the match into a tie-break shootout, according to Eurosport.Heavy rain sent the players running for cover at 6-6 in the decider, shortly after the Russian had fended off a match point with a winning forehand.When they finally returned on a damp night in the Italian capital, Sharapova won the first three points of the tiebreak. Although China’s Li battled back to 4-4 and 5-5, the second seed grabbed the last two points for victory. “This is a great win for me going into Roland Garros,” Sharapova said. “I know the level she played there last year and the level she can play on clay, the way she defends and moves around and gets herself back into position, she’s just a great player on any surface really. So this gives me a lot of confidence. It will be nice to have a week off now, after playing three tournaments in the last four weeks. I’ll have to time to recover, mentally and physically.” The rain break merely added to the drama of a match which swung first one way and the other, with Sharapova saving a match point at 5-6 to force the deciding tiebreak. With defending champion and world number two Sharapova making far too many unforced errors, eighth seed Li had led by a set and 4-0 before losing her way.In steady drizzle, Russian Sharapova then won eight straight games on her way to leading 4-1 in the final set before letting Li back in.After a short break at 5-5, 30-30, a determined Li saved a break point to stay ahead.With both players hitting top form, the Chinese then forced a match point on the Sharapova serve but the Russian saved it with a forehand winner.As heavy rain began to fall, Sharapova held for 6-6 and with the lines becoming slippery, the umpire took the players off court at 4.40pm local time.Li is still without a title since winning her first grand slam title at Roland Garros almost a year ago.


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