After winning the Monte Carlo Masters two weeks ago, Nadal improved his record on clay this year to 10-0 with a 7-5 6-2 victory.
The win also enabled Nadal to match Andre Agassi’s record of 17 Masters Series titles.
The match was finely balanced at 4-4 in the first set when rain first forced the players off court.
When play resumed an hour later Ferrer, who had saved five break points in the fifth game, held his nerve to move into a 5-4 lead.
However, Nadal broke at his next opportunity and then saved his first break point of the match to serve out for the opening set.
The second rain break came early in the second set, but by then Nadal had broken serve for a 2-1 lead.
Another break when play eventually resumed an hour and 45 minutes later helped Nadal ease to victory and further demonstrate the Spaniard is getting back to his dominant best on clay.
Give Ferrer – who had beaten three players ranked higher than him, including Andy Murray in the third round to reach the final – his due. The score may read 7-5, 6-2 but each and every point was won through gritted teeth and ferocious intensity.
If anything – and this ought to frighten the socks off everyone else preparing for the French Open later this month – Nadal is getting even better. It is an alarming thought.
Nadal lost serve once in the tournament, he dropped one set, to the hugely impressive Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the semi-finals, he devoured acres of the new court at the Foro Italico, he sustained a number of rallies with improbable defensive tennis, his forehand raked across the dirt, his intensity never dropped. He could not stop grinning throughout another ceremony that concluded with him taking a bite out of a trophy. And it is not often you see Nadal racing around a court, spraying ball boys and girls with champagne after a final – the champion’s joy was unconfined.