Djokovic wins Italian Open to surpass Nadal's ATP Masters titles mark
RICCARDO ANTIMIANI / AFP / Getty

Novak Djokovic topped Diego Schwartzman on Monday in the Italian Open final to surpass Rafael Nadal for the most ATP Masters 1000 titles with 36.

In the Serbian's first tournament since defaulting at the US Open for striking a line judge with the ball, Djokovic overcame a slow start to beat Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3.

With around 1,000 socially distanced spectators in attendance on a rainy day in Rome, Djokovic fell behind two breaks as Schwartzman raced out to a 3-0 advantage in the opening frame. Djokovic eventually fought back to take the first set in 71 minutes.

Schwartzman, who was appearing in his first ATP Masters final after eliminating Nadal and Denis Shapovalov in the previous two rounds, committed two unforced errors in the eighth game of the second set that saw Djokovic break.

Djokovic then sealed his fifth Italian Open win when he set up three match points, and Schwartzman couldn't rally back.

The tournament victory was the 81st of Djokovic's career, and it bodes well for the 33-year-old's form heading into the French Open, where the main draw is scheduled to start Sunday.

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Djokovic wins Italian Open to surpass Nadal's ATP Masters titles mark
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