Nadal: The only difference was ‘a few points’

Rafael Nadal admits he was a few points away from defeat after recovering to beat defending champion Alexander Zverev to claim the Internazionali BNL d’Italia title in Rome for the eighth time on Sunday.

Nadal won the opening set of the final in convincing fashion but after that was on the back-foot until a rain-delay halted Zverev’s title charge while leading 6-1, 1-6, 3-1 having won nine of the previous 12 games.

After returning back to court after the delay, Nadal was at his very best rattling off five games in a row to claim a ‘come-from-behind’ 6-1, 1-6, 6-3 victory.

After his remarkable victory, the top-seeded Spaniard said the difference between the two players was “just a few points”.

“Today the trophy is with me for just a few points,” he said.

“It was a very difficult match and I wish you all the best for the next couple of years.”

Zverev responded by saying: “I want to congratulate Rafa, you’re an amazing champion and you proved it again tonight.

“We had an unbelievable winning streak, the title in Madrid last week was amazing, getting to the final here,” said Zverev (Talking to his team court-side).

“I know it’s very disappointing to get so close and lose in the end, but we lost to Rafa, so I guess that’s somewhat okay.”