3 May 2010

Nadal restores normality for fifth Rome title

4:08 pm on 3 May 2010

Rafael Nadal rediscovered his normal form after a rare wobble on clay in the semi-finals to beat fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5 6-2 in a rain-hit final for his fifth Rome Masters title in six years.

The chinks in the armour Latvia's Ernests Gulbis exposed in a three-set semi-final were not evident and Ferrer never threatened an upset.

The third seed broke serve twice in the gap between two rain interruptions to take the first set and assume command of the second .

It wasn't quite the superlative tennis Nadal displayed to claim his sixth Monte Carlo Masters two weeks ago but he still looks good to take his fifth title at the French Open after an injury-hit 2009.

The win gives the six-times Grand Slam winner Nadal his 17th career Masters title to equal Andre Agassi's tally.