Top seed Rafa Nadal avoided a scare to beat defending champion Alexander Zverev 6-1 1-6 6-3 in the Italian Open final on Sunday.
After winning the first set, Zverev hit back to take the second 6-1. Nadal recovered from an early break in the third set after a 50-minute rain delay to wrap the game 6-3.
Nadal improved to 5-0 in his career against Zverev and gained an extra measure of confidence entering the French Open, which starts next Sunday.
The win gave the Spaniard his 56th title on clay and he will reclaim the world number one ranking from Roger Federer when the revised ATP standings are released on Monday.
Federer had regained top spot in the rankings when Nadal lost to Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Masters last week, his only defeat on clay this season.
Nadal has now won three clay-court titles from four tournaments in the build-up to his bid for an 11th Roland Garros title in Paris.