Nadal captures 7th Rome title in rout of Federer|
Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Even the great Roger Federer couldn't quell
Rafael Nadal's momentum.
The fifth-seeded Spaniard dominated his rival on Sunday and captured a seventh
Italian Masters title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.
After Federer held to open the match, Nadal won nine straight games to seize
The second-seeded Swiss superstar continued to fight, consolidating a break at
love in the seventh game of the second set with a hold. Nadal, though, closed
out the lopsided bout with a love service game.
Nadal, who is now 41-2 all-time at the Foro Italico, played in his eighth
final in as many events this year since returning from a seven-month layoff
because of a knee injury. He is in superior form heading into the French Open,
which begins next Sunday.
"I don't want to think about Roland Garros yet. Let me enjoy this victory,"
The victory gave Nadal his sixth title of 2013 and upped his career total to
56. It was also his 41st clay court crown, moving him past Thomas Muster for
the second-most in the Open Era. Only Guillermo Vilas has more with 46.
Federer's serve was ineffective against Nadal, who converted all but one of
his six break points. Federer, a Rome runner-up in 2003 and 2006, had been
broken just twice en route to reaching his first final of the year.
"It didn't go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and
crucial points," Federer said. "He does an incredible job returning form the
back of the court and it is hard because he covers the court so well. You need
to serve accurately."
Sunday's match marked the 30th between the decorated players and the 20th with
a title on the line. Nadal improved 20-10 against Federer, including a 13-2
mark on clay.
05/19 14:43:34 ET