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Novak Djokovic, Simona Halep win Italian Open titles

Novak Djokovic now has a record 36 Masters 1000 titles after his win in the 2020 Italian Open final Monday in Rome. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Novak Djokovic now has a record 36 Masters 1000 titles after his win in the 2020 Italian Open final Monday in Rome. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and women's No. 2 Simona Halep were crowned 2020 Italian Open champions after dominant victories in Rome.

Djokovic beat Argentine Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 in one hour, 53 minutes to claim his fifth Italian Open title Monday at Foro Italico sports complex. The straight sets victory gave the Serbian a record 36th ATP Masters title.

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"I think I had a really good week, but I don't think I played my best tennis to be honest," Djokovic told reporters. "I don't want to sound arrogant.

"I'm very satisfied and pleased to win the title, but I know I still have a couple of gears."

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Schwartzman led 3-0 in the first set before Djokovic leveled the set with three consecutive game victories. He also won the seventh game before Schwartzman claimed the eighth game to level the set at 4-4. Djokovic and Schwartzman exchanged the next two game victories before Djokovic won the final two games to claim the first set.

Djokovic and Schwartzman were tied 2-2 in the second set before Djokovic won the fifth game. Schwartzman claimed the sixth game to level the set at 3-3 before Djokovic won the final three games to win the match.

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Djokovic fired two aces and had 74 winners in Monday's victory. He has now hit 287 weeks as the world No. 1 to pass Pete Sampras for No. 2 all time.

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Halep beat No. 4 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 2-1 to claim her Italian Open title. The Romanian earned the victory after Pliskova retired due to injury when she was down in the second set.

"I finally won it," Halep said of the Italian Open. "I have played really well every year here. I've [been in] two finals. I started going up in the rankings here in 2013. I have dreamed to have this title. I'm really happy it happened."

Halep broke Pliskova's serve three times in a dominant first set. She also won the first game of the second set when she broke Pliskova.

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Pliskova broke Halep's serve for the next game point before Halep won the third game. Pliskova then retired from the match to hand Halep her first Italian Open title.

Halep had an ace, three double faults and 35 winners in the 32-minute victory. Pliskova had four double faults and 18 winners before she retired.

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"I feel sorry for her, because an injury is an injury and it's never easy," Halep said of Pliskova. "But it doesn't change anything.

"This trophy is mine now."

The 2020 French Open is from Sept. 27 through Oct. 11 in Paris.

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