Rafa Nadal overtakes insane Roger Federer feat

Rafael Nadal has surpassed Roger Federer with another astonishing milestone, following his Italian Open triumph over Novak Djokovic.

The Spaniard has now occupied a place in the world's top 10 for 735 consecutive weeks, passing Federer for the second-longest streak in the history of the ATP rankings.

Nadal made a statement on the weekend ahead of defending his French Open title in Paris, despatching Djokovic 6-0 4-6 6-1 in the Italian Open final.

The victory ended his wait for a first tournament win in 2019, the Spaniard having underwhelmed on clay so far this year, losing semi-finals in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

But the 11-time Roland Garros champion made light work of the current world number one in Rome, even though he was taken to three sets.

There was further good news for Nadal, who has been ensconced inside the top 10 since April 25, 2005.

Nadal has overtaken Federer's milestone for consecutive weeks inside the world's top 10. Pic: Getty

He has overtaken Federer on the all-time list when it comes to appearances in consecutive weeks, with only Jimmy Connors (789) left ahead of him on the all-time list.

Djokovic hails Nadal as French Open favourite

Nadal’s incredible feat and his performance in Rome led Djokovic to declare the Spaniard as the clear favourite to win yet another French Open.

The Spaniard is a record 11-time champion at Roland Garros and Djokovic feels Nadal will be hard to stop as he bids for three in a row in Paris.

"Nadal [is the] number one favourite, without a doubt," the Serbian told a news conference.

"And then everyone else."

Nadal’s ninth Rome crown was set up by a blistering start against Djokovic, who was held to love by the Spaniard for the fist time in the history of their rivalry.

Djokovic was happy to push Nadal to a third set as he lamented some fatigue after his run to the final.

Nadal added another Italian Open title to his collection after beating Djokovic in the Rome final. Pic: Getty

"I'm really glad I managed to get into the third set considering in the first set I was blown away from the court and obviously third set wasn't much different from the first," he said.

"But actually the first three or four games in the third set were quite close and maybe that's where I had a slight chance to build on the momentum that I had from winning the second set.

"I was running out of fuel a little bit, just kind of missed that half a step, especially on the backhand side, and he used it.

"He used it very well, he's been playing some terrific tennis throughout the entire week and he was just too strong."

With agencies