Djokovic aims to build on Rome success

May 19, 2014
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Italian Open winner Novak Djokovic says he faces the "ultimate challenge" of dethroning French Open defending champion Rafael Nadal.

The Serbian rallied to clinch a 4-6 6-3 6-3 victory on Sunday to win the Italian Open for the third time and deny world number one Nadal victory.

The 26-year-old said he felt he now had the psychological edge ahead of the second Grand Slam of the calendar year in the French capital.

"It gives me a lot of confidence winning against Rafa in the finals of a big tournament on clay," he said. "It's definitely a confidence-booster. It's an ultimate challenge and I'm very happy with my game so far and hopefully I can carry that into the French Open."

Djokovic has now won his previous four encounters against Spanish icon Nadal - the previous three in straight sets - although the French Open remains the only major he has never won.

Nadal, however, has owned the showpiece Paris tournament, winning it eight times, and is the defending champion.

The pair met in the semi-finals last year, Nadal winning in five sets, and Djokovic said he will look to attack if they cross paths again.

"I tried to be aggressive from the start to the end," added Djokovic, whose other Rome titles came in 2008 and 2011. "I know that the only way to win against him is to be aggressive."


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