Nadal becomes world No 1 for a sixth time in his illustrious career as he snaps Zverev’s 13-match winning streak
By Raz Mirza at Foro Italico in Rome
Last Updated: 20/05/18 6:41pm
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.
Nadal’s career record on clay…
- Won: 408
- Lost: 36
The top seed extending 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.
Nadal took the first set 6-1 before his German opponent levelled by taking the second by the same score. Zverev was 3-2 ahead with a break when play was halted and the courts covered.
When they returned after a second lengthy stoppage, Nadal raced away with the last five games to secure a memorable win.
We will return for more tennis coverage from the ATP Tour when we head to Germany for the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, live on Sky Sports Arena from 11am on Monday, 18 June. Watch highlights of the Rome Masters final throughout the day on Monday.
May 21, 2018, 10:00am
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