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Sports

Djokovic beats Federer, wins Italian Open

The world number one, Novak Djokovic will go into next weekend's French Open as one of the favorites. On Sunday, he made quick work of Roger Federer in the Italian Open final.

The big-hitting Serb isn't primarily known as a clay court player, but he was far too much for former number one Federer of Switzerland on the sands of Rome.

Djokovic used a stellar return to earn a late break in the first set. And he followed that up with an early break in the second to win 6-4, 6-3. The match lasted a mere 75 minutes.

The world number one extended his winning streak to 22 matches while claiming his fourth Italian Open title. Next Sunday, he'll begin his quest to win the French Open, the only major missing from his resumé.

"Along with 2011, this is the best year of my career," Djokovic said after the match. "I hope I can continue like this."

The Serb's chances at Roland Garros will be bolstered by the fact that clay-court master Rafael Nadal has struggled recently.

On the women's side, Maria Sharapova came from a set down to take the title over Carla Suarez Navarro. The final score there was 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. It was the Russian's third Italian Open triumph.

"It's always a special victory," Sharapova said. "It isn't my first time but when I'm able to hold the trophy again it brings back memories of winning it the first time."

Sharapova is the defending French Open champion.

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