Nadal holds off Djokovic to win Italian Open
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Rafael Nadal has won the Italian Open for the ninth time after defeating Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final 6-0, 4-6, 6-1.

It's Nadal's first title of 2019.

"Winning a title is important but for me, the most important thing is feel myself competitive, feel myself healthy," Nadal said after the match, according to The Associated Press' Andrew Dampf. "Then with the feeling that I am improving. I know if I'm able to reach my level you can win, you can lose, but normally I'm going to have my chances, especially on this surface."

The Spaniard's ninth win strengthens his grip on the record for most titles in Rome. He now has five more Italian Open trophies than his fellow finalist, who holds the second most with four.

Nadal will now head into the French Open ranked No. 2 in the world behind Djokovic.

The final also marked the first "bagel" - a failure to win a single game within a set - in 54 matches between the two. It's the first time Djokovic has been bageled since the 2017 French Open quarterfinals against Dominic Thiem, according to Christopher Clarey of The New York Times.

Nadal holds off Djokovic to win Italian Open
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