That did not take long. One week after relinquishing the top spot in the ATP Rankings, Rafael Nadal will make his return to No. 1.
Nadal is set to embark on his 174th week at the pinnacle of men's tennis after ousting Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3, in a pulsating final at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia on Sunday. He capped another dominant week on the dirt, capturing his third ATP World Tour title in less than a month.
After five years, the Spaniard is back in the winners' circle in Rome. He notched an unprecedented eighth crown at the iconic Foro Italico, adding to victories in 2005-07, 2009-10 and 2012-13. Nadal was at his ruthless best once again and following a quarter-final defeat to Dominic Thiem last week in Madrid, he was even more determined to lift another trophy.
"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."
Nadal also added a slice of history with his victory in the Eternal City. The 31-year-old now stands alone in fourth place on the Open Era titles list, adding a 78th piece of silverware to pass John McEnroe. Only Jimmy Connors (109), Roger Federer (97) and Ivan Lendl (94) remain ahead of him.