SIX Spanish athletes have been arrested in a massive anti-doping operation after huge quantities of performance-enhancing drugs were seized in Madrid, Valencia and the town of Calatayud (Zaragoza province). Growth...
Rafa back at No.1 with Rome win
Rafa Nadal notched up a record eighth Rome Masters 1000 title at the iconic Foro Italico on Sunday and claimed the No.1 spot back of Roger Federer in the process.
The 31-year-old Spaniard ousted Germany's Alexander Zverev in a topsy turvy final (6-1, 1-6, 6-3) to lift the trophy at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia again, adding to victories in 2005-07, 2009-10 and 2012-13.
Nadal cruised through the first set, but then the defending champion took nine of the next 11 games to take the second set 6-1 and race to a 3-1 lead in the decider. The momentum was clearly with the German when play had to be suspended due to heavy rain.
After a lengthy rain delay, Nadal came out at his ruthless best to turn the match around, winning four games in a row and sealing his 78th ATP Tour title.
"When it happened, the rain delay, I didn't feel in that moment that it would help me," added Nadal. "That's my feeling. It's true that, if we analyse it now, of course, we can say that the rain delay helped me. But really, in my opinion, what helped me is that I came back with a clear idea in terms of tactical issues and in terms of decisions that I took after that break.
"And, of course, a little bit of luck that I had the break back immediately. That was a big help. And I think I played with the right determination and strategy later."
Nadal has now won three clay-court titles from four tournaments in the lead-up to his bid for an 11th Roland Garros title in Paris which starts next Saturday.
"It has been an amazing week," said Nadal. "Such an important week to have this trophy with me again after losing in the quarter-finals in Madrid. It was unforgettable and emotional for me. It's amazing to win eight titles in Rome. It's a difficult event and to have the chance to win again here means a lot. This is the moment to enjoy winning here again."
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