Maria Sharapova won her second straight Rome title on Sunday, defeating China's Li Na 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5), in a match full of momentum shifts, a lengthy rain delay, and noisy distractions from football fans.
A frustrating day at the sodden Foro Italico ended in anger as spectators tossed plastic water bottles onto the court after the high-profile men's final between Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal was postponed until Monday (1000GMT).
The weather was mainly responsible and the decision was only made after heated discussions between the tournament and the ATP, some conducted on the court after the women's event ended.
But another reason for postponing the men's final was due to worries over security, with thousands of football fans in the vicinity of the Foro Italico.
Officials and police were wary of tennis fans mixing with rival football supporters heading to Sunday night's Italian Cup final between Juventus and Napoli at the Olympic Stadium, just a few hundred metres away.
World number two Sharapova claimed her 26th career trophy, but it was a struggle for the Russian, who found herself 6-4, 4-0 down before the players were forced off by rain for over two hours just as the final set tie-break was about to commence.
"It was a crazy match," said Sharapova. "Either one of us could have won it. There really is no loser.
"It was really difficult with so many swings. It was tough having to wait two hours. It's difficult to have a loser and a winner, but I'm happy.
"It's great to beat someone with the level she played last year," added Sharapova, after defeating the defending French Open champion.
Sharapova now leads Li 7-4 in their head-to-head series, with the Chinese player coming close to winning her first title since claiming her historic French Open crown last June.
Sharapova added a second Rome crown to the Stuttgart claycourt title she earned in April.
During the women's final, hovering helicopters, exploding fireworks and groups of chanting football fans outside the fenced-off courts made for distractions.
"The match was a joke, it was like playing a football match in the rain," said Li.
"Even when we were sent off court, you had to still concentrate for every second. It was tiring for both players.
"You could not relax. It was tense. When we came back out, she was the tougher player. But I take some positives away. It's getting close to Roland Garros and I think I hit the ball well. I also moved her around the court well."
Sharapova and Li were sent off court with the third set poised at a tie-break to decide the match. They came back more than two hours later and played seven additional minutes before Sharapova prevailed.
The Russian had looked flat in the first set, losing an early break and the set.
With Li leading a set and 4-0, the momentum suddenly shifted as Sharapova woke up to reel off eight consecutive games, winning the second set to level and going 2-0 up in the third as Li's famed problems with finishing off wins surfaced again.
But Sharapova suddenly went off the boil, reaching 4-1 before dropping two serves as Li recovered.
As steady rain fell, the determined pair played on, with a brief stoppage at the two-and-a-half-hour mark while they sat in their chairs.
Once it resumed, neither seemed inclined to close it out, with Sharapova saving a match point in the 12th game from a forehand winner.
As the tie-break arrived, so did more rain, which forced the players off court and brought the covers on.