Nadal beats Gonzalez, wins Rome Masters
Rafael Nadal became the first player to win the Rome Masters three consecutive times by beating Fernando Gonzalez of Chile 6-2, 6-2 on Sunday.
The victory extended Nadal's winning streak on clay to 77 matches. By reaching the final, the Spaniard had already broken John McEnroe's record for most victories on one surface.
The second-ranked Nadal needed only 1 hour, 24 minutes to overcome his opponent, who was never in contention against the two-time defending French Open champion.
Nadal broke serve in the first game, and took the first set with a volley that sent the sixth-ranked Gonzalez tumbling in an effort to reach the ball.
The Spaniard took a 3-0 lead in the second set as Gonzalez kept missing what is usually his most effective shot, a powerful forehand.
Rome is a key clay-court warm-up for the French Open, which begins May 27. Thomas Muster and Jaroslav Drobny - a Czech player in the 1950s - also won in Rome thretimes, but not in succession.