Nadal defeats Zverev to win 8th Italian Open title

Rome: Spanish tennis great Rafael Nadal has won his eighth Italian Open title, dethroning Germany’s Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 in an epic final that was halted twice due to rain.

Nadal, who managed to win his first Italian Open title at age 18, needed two hours and nine minutes during the match on Sunday to defeat Zverev, who initially built up a 3-1 advantage in the decider, Efe news reported.

Nadal, the reigning Monte Carlo Masters, and Barcelona Open champion, was the top seed in the tourney and the win constitutes his 32nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and the 78th trophy of his career.

The Spaniard will regain the top spot in the ATP rankings to be released on Monday, a week after conceding it to Switzerland’s Roger Federer, who has decided to skip the clay season for the second year in a row.