Not to put too fine a point on it but yes, it was about time.
An added amusing statistic to this Italian Open triumph- his first title since August 2018, egad!- was the fact that R. Nadal served up bagels all week long. Even the runner-up, his arch-foe Djokovic, had the pleasure of indulging from the Rafa Nadal Bakery Company Inc. (This led to a lot of jokes on whether said bagel was gluten-free in deference to Dojoko's famed intolerance, and caused me interminable giggles.)
As for the match itself? Satisfying. Djoko was fatigued because of his previous two three-setter battles, but did manage to wrest a set from Rafa. More importantly, Rafa himself looked a lot like his old self, i.e., imperious and clinical. In truth he looked fed-up from the start of this tournament, like he'd had enough of losing and tongue-lashed himself back into reality: this might have in fact led to the severe beatings he handed to every last opponent. Poor Djoko was reduced to smashing his racket and whining about the sun- the sun!! being in his eyes. Welcome to Italy, Djoko, I felt like saying, now quit your tantrums and accept the truth.
He recovered fast though; upon his final losing shot he rushed to the net to hug Rafa's neck, looking almost lovelorn into the bargain. Then we had the pleasure of the Serbian and the Spaniard both making speeches in quite-good Italian, much to the delight of the Roman crowd. (Rafa's Italian is markedly better than his dreadful French.)
And now Roland Garros is almost upon us. This year's tournament feels especially loaded and filled with suspense. The usual suspects are all lined up, but also a resurgent Delpo (how he fought Djoko in the quarter final!) and the other tricky Argentine, Diego Schwartzman whom I must also thank for tiring out Djoko in the semi. Then there's Stan Wawrinka, always suspect but at his sneakiest in the Grand Slams. And finally, the Great Vampire himself, who usually goes by R. Federer. Even though he hurt his hand playing two matches a day at the chaotic Italian Open, his dastardly ways are NEVER to be doubted.