Djokovic wins Rome title: 'I moved on' after US Open default

Novak Djokovic 'Roger Federer's always the favorite if...'

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Fifteen days after the embarrassment of New York Novak Djokovic showed that he is ready to be a major problem for Rafael Nadal at the French Open.

The other players were named in Spanish media reports as Ernesto Escobedo of the United States, Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain and Serbia's Pedja Krstin.

Heading into Roland Garros, Djokovic has won 31 of his 32 matches this season, and will be among the favourites alongside 12-times victor Nadal and U.S. Open champion Dominic Thiem. "I felt that deep in my thoughts!" However, Nadal was quick to shake off any excuses for his straight sets defeat to Diego Schwartzman, who was playing at a spectacularly high level.

Fears over the spread of the virus had already prompted defending champion and women's world number one Ashleigh Barty to skip the tournament.

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Halep lost to Elina Svitolina in the 2017 and 2018 finals.

"It's a completely special year and unpredictable year", said Nadal whose Rome appearance was his first on the tour since February.

Djokovic, who beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 for a record 36th ATP Masters 1,000 crown, received €205,200 for his triumph while Halep won €10 less for sealing the WTA Premier 5 title after Karolina Pliskova retired from the final with injury while trailing 6-0, 2-1.

"It was a great week, a very challenging week", Djokovic, who was playing his first event since being defaulted at the U.S. Open for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball, said on court.

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Earlier Sunday, Djokovic advanced to the finals in an eventful win against Casper Ruud. The world number one came in for heavy criticism at Flushing Meadows earlier this month and the Serb said he spent several days processing what had happened.

There is no Federer in Paris this year as the Swiss star continues to rehab after knee surgery which forced him to write-off his 2020 season. Pliskova also had her left thigh taped during the match.

"Physically he is capable of getting that far but you have two kids, he has a wife and you don't want to be on the road every single week when you're 40 years of age".

However, the 2002, 2013 and 2015 Roland Garros champion hinted she was undecided after organisers insisted that all players stay in tournament hotels.

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The only real issue for Djokovic this past week was his behavior again.

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