Rafael Nadal battled back from a break down in the deciding set to defeat young gun Alexander Zverev and claim an eighth title at a rain-interrupted Rome Masters on Sunday.
Nadal showed his incredible powers of recovery, against the 21-year-old German, to fight back after a 50-minute delay due to inclement weather to win 6-1 1-6 6-3 and send out a warning to his closest challenger ahead of the French Open, which starts next weekend.
The top seed extended his unblemished record to 5-0 over Zverev, and he has now won all seven sets they’ve contested on clay.
He also sealed his 32nd Masters 1000 crown and 78th career title in the process.
Nadal, who won both Monte Carlo and Barcelona for an 11th time, will also reclaim the coveted world No 1 ranking from Roger Federer when the latest set of rankings are released on Monday.
Zverev came into the match defending his title in the Eternal City and riding on a crest of a wave, having won titles in Munich and Madrid in the lead-up to the tournament in the Italian capital, as he took to the court in his fifth final in the last 10 Masters 1000 events.