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Rafael Nadal, Elina Svitolina win Italian Open titles

Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts after winning a point against Germany’s Alexander Zverev during their final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Nadal won the tournament and will be ranked No. 1 this week. (Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press)
Spain’s Rafael Nadal reacts after winning a point against Germany’s Alexander Zverev during their final match at the Italian Open tennis tournament in Rome, Sunday, May 20, 2018. Nadal won the tournament and will be ranked No. 1 this week. (Gregorio Borgia / Associated Press)

ROME – Rafael Nadal came out on top in a matchup of this year’s top two clay-court players, beating defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 Sunday to win a record-extending eighth Italian Open title.

Nadal recovered from an early break in the third set after a 50-minute rain delay.

The victory means Nadal will reclaim the No. 1 ranking from Roger Federer on Monday.

Earlier, Elina Svitolina defended the women’s title, facing little resistance from top-ranked Simona Halep in a 6-0, 6-4 win.

Just like in last year’s final, Halep appeared bothered by an injury.

The top-ranked Romanian called a trainer onto the court for an apparent back problem while trailing 2-3 in the second set then exited the court for treatment under a medical timeout.

Last year, Halep rolled her ankle in the final and lost a set lead to Svitolina.


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