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Nadal summons rain to beat Zverev in Rome

Rafael Nadal was being pummeled in the Rome final against Alexander Zverev, before controversially causing a rain delay to turn the match around.

Photo credit: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Nadal, the Spanish God of Clay, was on the verge of missing out on an unprecedented eighth Rome title against young gun, Alexander Zverev, before using his cosmic powers to summon rainfall that would ultimately turn the match in his favour.

The match looked a foregone conclusion after a solar-powered Nadal crushed the visibly fatigued German 6-1 in the first set, pushing and pulling him around the court like a puppeteer.

But as the clay court Superman's power source faded behind the clouds, a rejuvenated Zverev, driven by youthful exuberance and a glorious mane of flowing hair, immediately returned the favour in the second set with a 6-1 scoreline of his own.

Nadal, recognising he needed something big to change the way the match was playing out, used the break between sets to perform a beautiful, yet ominous, rain dance, to the delight of the raucous Italian crowd. Almost immediately, the dark clouds already circling above the Foro Italico, as if waiting for the Spaniard's call, burst open.

The rain was slight at first, allowing Zverev to continue riding his wave of momentum in the third and final set like the surfer he seems to base his appearance on.

But the rain, much like Nadal's rage when a mortal dares to win a set against him on his beloved surface, intensified, and Rafa's dastardly plan came into effect. With Nadal down a break of serve, the umpire had no choice but to postpone play.

After gathering his thoughts, the Spaniard performed an equally entrancing reverse rain dance, no doubt adding to Zverev's broken concentration, and reeled off 5 straight games to win the tournament for an incredible eighth time.

"It was an amazing tournament", said Nadal. "I was worried the rain dance wouldn't work in time, but luckily I was able to get the rain delay I needed, as Zverev was playing very well.

"My advice to him would be to start searching for his own powers, but they won't come easy. Last time I had to take my fishing boat on a six-month expedition to find a shaman, who showed me the rain dance - she warned me that with each use of my powers, I would lose more of my hair, but I think that's a fair price for winning tournaments, and I still have a little bit left."

Naturally, questions arose as to whether the undisputed King of Clay's conduct was unsporting. Should the likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer (who infamously used his godly powers to miraculously reverse the aging process before the 2017 Australian Open) be allowed to use such divine methods against mere humans who might otherwise have a chance?

Or should they be out looking for their own supernatural advantages? One thing is for sure: if nobody finds their own powers or the rules don't change, the tennis Gods will continue to dominate the sport.



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