Rafael Nadal says he is heading to the French Open with added "confidence" after winning the Italian Open.
Nadal, 34, beat Novak Djokovic 7-5 1-6 6-3 to claim a record-extending 10th ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome and felt his game improved through the week.
World No 3 Nadal, who suffered quarter-final exits at Masters 1000 events in Monte-Carlo and Madrid, said he would rest for a couple of days back home before heading to Paris for his title defence.
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"I think I can work in a couple of things that I can do a little bit better or I can keep confirming that I am on the way," he told reporters on Sunday.
"I think I have been improving this week, but I need to keep going with that improvement, because when you improve and you're able to do it every day for longer time, then you feel more confident and more safe.
"I think I have been playing better and better with my forehand the past couple of weeks, getting to the confidence point.
"The positive thing is the winners and the solutions with my forehand have been much better than the past couple of weeks. That's a huge improvement for me, a very important shot. Especially on clay it gives me confidence.
"So I just need to keep going. I know what I need to work on for the next couple of weeks, and I am going to do it."
Victory in Rome saw Nadal equal Djokovic's tally of 36 ATP Masters 1000 trophies but it was not all plain sailing, the Spaniard having to save two match points against Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the third round.
"The 10th, I really wanted this 10th here in Rome. It was one of the first important titles that I won in my career," Nadal said. "After achieving 10 in Roland Garros, 10 in Monte-Carlo, 10 in Barcelona, I really wanted this one.
"I went through a lot of things during the week. Some positive, some great moments, some lucky moments, suffering moments. At the end I think I played a very solid week of tennis, it's the right moment to win an important title."
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