Rafael Nadal concedes rain break played a crucial role in Rome final

Rafael Nadal concedes the rain break helped him during the Italian Open final.

The Spaniard came from a break down in the third set to win his eighth title in Rome on Sunday, beating Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 for his 32nd Masters title.

“Today is a day to enjoy this title. For me, it means a lot to win in Rome here again,” he said.

He added: “To win Rome eight times is amazing, it’s hard to describe. To have the chance to win here again is so great. As for Roland Garros, I’m going to enjoy this victory and think about Paris in a couple days.”

The 16-time Grand Slam winner was staring down the barrel as he was 3-1 down after Zverev broke in the opening game of the decider.

However, there was an 11-minute rain delay and Nadal returned to make it 3-2 before another interruption. When they finally returned, Nadal took charge as he won the four remaining games to wrap up the match.

“When it happened, I didn’t think that it would help me. But of course, we can say that the rain delay helps, helped me,” he said.

“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 take after that break.”