Hot favourite Novak Djokovic struggled to defeat Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 6-3 ) in the final of the Rome Masters. The Serb claims his 10th career title, and his third of the year.
World number three Novak Djokovic came back from a set down to beat unseeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6 6-3 6-3 and claim the Rome Masters title on Sunday.
Wawrinka had the better of the early exchanges and took the first set after breaking Djokovic in the fifth game.
The Serb hung in during a spell on the back foot and pulled himself back into contention with a break in the middle of the second set.
He then took Wawrinka's serve again at the start and end of the final set to bag the title.
Australian Open champion Djokovic was the hot favourite going into the game against a man in his first Masters Series final.
But Wawrinka made the more confident start, winning points with a backhand volley at the net and fine forehand pass to get an early break.
Wawrinka had Djokovic under more pressure in the seventh game, when the Serb had to dig out some big serves after being two break points down, before he served out the set.
The third seed was struggling to find his best tennis, but he managed to soak up the pressure before responding with a break in the sixth game of the second set.
He held the next two service games to level things up, sealing the last two points of the set with emphatic smashes at the net.
His confidence revived, he broke again in the first game of the third set, with the help of another sweet volley at the net and some over-hit shots from the Swiss.
Wawrinka called his trainer on for some treatment on his lower back after the fifth game of the decider.
Djokovic kept the momentum going his way and Wawrinka had to work hard to hold serve two games later, saving a break point.
But he surrendered shortly it shortly after, Djokovic producing a superb forehand to the corner to wrap up the championship.
Date created : 2008-05-11