[QODLink]
Tennis

Federer and Nadal to face off in Rome final

Swiss and Spanish greats to renew classic rivalry in Italian Open final after both win semi-finals in straight sets.

Last Modified: 18 May 2013 23:07
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Federer had to overcome a plucky performance by unseeded French sensation Benoit Paire [Reuters]

Roger Federer will meet great rival Rafa Nadal in the Italian Open final after the Swiss overcame a spirited performance by unseeded Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Nadal had earlier beaten Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 in the Rome Masters with a dominant performance that he described as emotional after a long injury absence which saw him return to court in February after seven months off with a knee problem.

The 26-year-old Spaniard has won six titles since returning, while Federer is yet to register a title in 2013.

The sport's dominant clay court player was at his aggressive best in dismantling the heavy hitting Berdych, breaking in the first and fifth games of a one-sided first set before clinching a decisive advantage in the ninth game of the second.

Nadal wrapped it up when his opponent sent a backhand return long and then said he could not have hoped to be playing better after his lengthy layoff.

'Emotional moments'

"I am feeling better physically," the 11-time Grand Slam winner said in an interview with Spanish television broadcaster Teledeporte.

"These are emotional moments for me as I think I have managed to turn around a situation in which after many months of doubts I am able to play at a level that I would not have dreamed of four months ago."

The 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 scoreline suggested a routine win for World No. 3 Federer, but the 24-year-old Paire was a break up in the first set and held three mini breaks in the tiebreak before being let down by poor shot selection.

The second set was more straightforward for Federer, into the Rome final for the third time and first since 2006, as he wrapped up victory in just less than 90 minutes.

Sunday's final will be the 30th meeting between Nadal and Federer with the Spaniard holding a 19-10 lead.

309

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.