Rafael Nadal is once again the Rome Masters champion after a 6-1 6-3 victory over Roger Federer. It took the undisputed ‘King of Clay’ just 68 minutes.
The first set really was a breeze for Rafa, winning it in just 23 minutes and never looking in any real danger. Federer just couldn’t control any of the rallies and, when he did, Nadal turned defence into attack and matched most of Roger’s top spin hits.
Heading into the second set, it was tough to look beyond Nadal winning and he did, quite comfortably. His Swiss opponent did manage a break and a couple of holds of serve but never troubled the Spaniard, despite prolonging the inevitable. Prior to the 26-year-old serving out for the match at 5-3, a superb backhander, beyond the reach of the 31-year-old, clinched more momentum to go on to win.
Maybe Federer’s back is still troubling him? Today he showed little signs of what we know he can produce but, all in all, it’s been a good week for him, reaching his final of 2013. The 17-time Grand Slam winner hit a poor 32 unforced errors during the course of today’s defeat.
For Rafa, it’s now an incredible 10 wins in 12 days. Again showing how well he has comeback from his knee problem. Today also marked his 24th Masters trophy, three titles ahead of Federer as the most decorated player at this level. In addition to that, it means he’s now clinched 56 titles during his career.
Ahead of the French Open, Nadal is now guaranteed a top four seeding. This will undoubtedly be a relief for the top three, who most certainly won’t want to face him before the semi-final stage, if at all – given the tournament, which he was won seven times in the last eight years. It’s definite that he’ll head to Roland Garros as the world number four but he could be the number three seed.
Britain’s Andy Murray could miss the event meaning Federer would be the second seed. The world number three will prioritise Wimbledon, where he was runner-up last year, over the second Grand Slam of the year and posted this (below) to his Twitter followers.
Thanks a lot for all the messages of support…seeing specialists on monday and tuesday… Will let you know how it goes
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) May 19, 2013
In other news, Serena Williams continued her excellent year with a 6-1 6-3 win over Victoria Azarenka in the Rome Masters final. It’s the world number one’s fourth consecutive title.
Look back on another week of eventful tennis in Rome by viewing our articles over the week: CLICK HERE.
– Nathan Morley