Finally, a title for Rafael Nadal this year.
Nadal beat his greatest rival Novak Djokovic 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 on Sunday to win a ninth Italian Open title and a record 34rd Masters, leaving his vanquished foe to label the Spaniard as “the number one favourite for Roland Garros”.
World number one Djokovic produced an error-strewn performance in his 54th meeting with second-ranked Nadal, who claimed the 81st title of his career.
It was Nadal’s first clay-court victory over the Serb since the 2014 French Open.
Nadal had earlier pulled out of Indian Wells with a knee injury and had not gotten past the semi-finals in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.
But after lifting his first title of the season, the 32-year-old has returned to his best form ahead of Roland Garros.
With the win, Nadal also overtook Djokovic at the top of the list for most Masters wins.
And Twitter was happy that the Spaniard was back to his best.
Here are some of the reactions:
(with AFP inputs)