Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nadal wins Italian Open #8

The King of Clay is at it again. After losing to Dominic Thiem in Madrid in the previous week, Rafa Nadal returned to form and won the Italian Open in Rome, beating Alexander Zverev in three sets to win the title.

This is Nadal's 8th title in Rome. What's interesting though is that of all the clay court tournaments in the lead-up to the French open, this is the one in which he is least successful. Yes, this is his 8th Italian Open title, and only a scant few people have won the same event 8 or more times. However, the last time Nadal won here was in 2013. He lost to Novak Djokovic in 2014 and only got to the quarterfinals from 2015 to 2017.

This win allowed Nadal to return to the #1 ranking after dropping to #2 when he lost in the quarterfinals in Madrid. He and Roger Federer have switched places at the top of the tennis world a handful of times this year already. I can't say this enough but it's truly amazing how these two legends are still the top 2 players in the world.

The Italian Open title definitely strengthens Nadal's chances of winning at Roland Garros which starts next week. I'm hopeful that by the end of the French Open, Nadal will yet again be the last man standing.

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