World No. 3 Rafael Nadal won a record-equalling 17th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title Sunday when he overcame fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in a rain-hit final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.
At the age of just 23, Nadal has drawn level with the retired Andre Agassi, who has held the record of 17 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles since winning his last of the coveted shields in Cincinnati in 2004, aged 34. Roger Federer is in second place with 16 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles.
“I am 23 and sure 17 is a very important number for me,” said Nadal. “There are some tournaments coming up – Madrid is coming up soon – and so I’m going to try to keep winning, but these tournaments are very difficult and some of the best players in the world are there.”
Nadal won his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title at the age of 18, when he defeated Guillermo Coria in the 2005 Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters final. Two weeks ago he became the first player in the Open Era to win a tournament title for six straight years when he crushed Fernando Verdasco in Monte-Carlo to claim his 16th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title. Overall in ATP World Tour Masters 1000 action, he has compiled a 175-35 match record and has a 17-6 mark in finals.
With two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles to his name already in 2010, Nadal has made a strong early claim for a place in the elite eight-man field at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be held at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.
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Also for the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters where Nadal won a record 6th-straight title, click here.