Novak Djokovic will be travelling to the French Open with the best possible state of mind. On Monday, he defeated Diego Schwartzman in the Italian Open final (7-5, 6-3) to take his 36th Masters Series title. Meanwhile, Simona Halep took the women's title by defeating an injured Karolina Pliskova.
Djokovic is now able to put the debacle at the US Open behind him. It may be remembered that he was disqualified from the event after accidentally hitting a line judge with a ball he swung to the back wall out of frustration. In Rome, his temper also got the best of him after he broke a racket earlier in the tournament. However, he was able to bounce back to seal the victory.
According to the BBC, the 33-year old Serb has already surpassed Rafael Nadal's record of Masters Series victories. He will also be aiming to catch the Spaniard's record of Grand Slam titles. As it stands, Nadal has 19 major trophies in his cabinet. Djokovic has 17 and missed the opportunity to close the gap to Nadal after he was disqualified from the US Open which both Nadal and Roger Federer skipped. Djokovic and Nadal are chasing Federer's 20 Grand Slam title record.
Next week, Djokovic will have another chance to get closer to the man from Mallorca as both of them compete at Roland Garros. Nadal is the "King of Clay" but his loss to Schwartzman in the quarter-finals in Italy indicates that he is not in his best form.
Meanwhile, top seed Halep led the women's final 6-0, 2-1 before Pliskova called for treatment. The Czech star could not continue and effectively handed the title to Halep. The Romanian will also be in high spirits as she seeks another French Open title. She won the event back in 2018, and will be one of the favourites coming into this year's competition. Defending champion Ashleigh Barty has already pulled out from the event citing health and safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The French Open is set to begin on September 27 at its usual venue in Roland Garros.