Rome lessons

Was it ever in doubt? Novak Djokovic got his hands on yet another trophy as he brushed Roger Federer aside in the final of the Rome Masters, winning 6-4 6-3 in just 75 minutes.

There was almost an inevitability about the Serbian???s win even at the beginning of the week and given that seven-time winner Nadal was in the field it only goes to show the standard both men are playing at at present.

After an exciting six days of clay court tennis we look back at lessons we learned on the red stuff.

Fading star?

It was another tough week for Rafa Nadal as he fell at the quarter-final stage, losing in straight sets to Stan Wawrinka.

The result means the Spaniard will head into the French Open without a European clay-court title to his name for the first time and currently looks a shadow of the player he once was.

You write off Nadal at your peril but it is clear that all is not well with the 14-time Grand Slam winner and with his world ranking continuing to take hits, things are unlikely to get easier any time soon.

New king of clay?

With Nadal stuttering, even on his favourite surface, the question must now be asked whether the king of clay has surrendered his crown.

If he hasn???t then he risks having it forcibly removed by the world No 1. Such is the level of tennis he is producing at times, Novak Djokovic is almost unrivalled.

Victory in Rome was his fourth Masters title of the year and his second on clay. Should be prevail at Roland Garros then we can surely crown a new king of clay.

R&R the order of the day

Married life clearly agrees with Andy Murray. Since tying the knot he has won the first two clay-court titles of his career and remains unbeaten in 10 matches.

However, despite that he was forced to withdraw in Rome due to fatigue ahead of his third round match.

With the French Open, swiftly followed by Wimbledon, fast approaching, a bit of rest and recuperation could be just what he needs to boost his chances of a third Grand Slam triumph.

Dressed to impress

Stan Wawrinka had a great week in Rome, reaching the semi-finals and beating Rafa Nadal along the way but, frankly, that is a secondary issue where the Swiss is concerned after he chose to sport a rather bold pair of pink and white chequered shorts.

That got plenty of people in the Twitter-sphere talking and our Sky Sports pundits got involved too. Gael Monfils, Andy Roddick and Radek Stepanek all came in for criticism for their on-court outfit choices over the years.

However, if Wawrinka wants any tips he need look no further than his immaculate compatriot Roger Federer.

Practice makes perfect?

You would think Novak Djokovic would be used to opening bottles of champagne by now, given the number of titles he has won over the years.

However, after his latest win, he showed that practice doesn???t always make perfect as he managed to pop the cork straight into his own face.

It really is a rookie mistake, you hate to see it???

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