Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
– The head to head between these two is now 20-10 in the Spaniard’s favour.
– It is tempting to draw conclusions about Federer’s ability to physically compete with Nadal at this stage of his career. However this scoreline is similar to a couple of other matches between the two – obviously the Roland Garros 2008 final – when Nadal is in top form and Federer has been below par. A similar display on grass later this summer would be more damming.
– On the basis of that performance Nadal must be favourite for Roland Garros, Djokovic will be his main rival for the title.
Nadal wins the Rome Masters
Nadal knuckles down and gets the job done. He’s the worthy champion, a friendly handshake between the two players.
A closely contested game goes Federer’s way amid good play from both men. Nadal will serve for the match once more.
With Nadal serving for the championship, Federer hits a run of form and breaks to love. A stay of execution for now.
Fed loses his footing on one point, wrong footed by Nadal. On others there are some flashes of the sublime; a touch drop shot volley being the best. From 40-15 though Nadal asserts himself and grabs a break point. Federer show some discipline and targets Nadal’s backhand in a Djokovic-esque manner to save it. But soon the bull is at the gate once more and this time he barges through with huge backhand down the line.
Federer hitting the ball better now and able to use some of his variation to good effect. Regardless Nadal comes through to hold.
A long game that features some lengthy rallies. Federer pulls through and wins his first game in the second set.
The clear water between the players widens with a easy hold for Rafa. Some of the crowd boo, unclear who it is directed at… either way they are not happy with the entertainment.
Stat flash: Federer has made 18 unforced error so far. Much of it down to Rafa’s pressure but still shocking. Nadal breaks once more, passing Fed at the net to do so.
Roger comes out all guns blazing and reaches 0-30 but misses a easy backhand volley for three break points. Federer does get a first break point but, no surprise that Nadal swings his lefty serve off court to the Federer backhand to negate it. A couple of deuces and Nadal holds.
First set to Nadal
Federer goes to all out attack in an effort to stay in the set but his shots land on the wrong side of the lines. First set to Nadal, the one sided match so far is stirring up memories of their 2008 Roland Garros final.
Nadal holds to love, Federer has no answer for the immense physicality of his game at the moment. The heavy topspin is taking its toll on the Swiss.
Rafa goes on the attack straight away with a backhand return winner and follows it up to break to 15. Nadal dominant, can Roger do anything?
Nadal is going to the Federer forehand to open up the court, subsequently attacking the backhand from a position of strength. He holds easily. Federer must hold now.
Federer sinks to 0-30 and, although he recovers to 30-30, Nadal wins the next two points to secure the first break of serve.
Federer gets to 30 all but Nadal ups his game and holds with an ace of his own.
Every point is greeted by loud cheers. Federer serves impeccably, opens with an ace and holds to 15.
– Federer to serve
– Glorious weather in Rome as the two legends face off.
– The players are on court and warming up. Both receive a huge reception from the Foro Italico crowd.
The Nadal v Federer Rome 2013 final Live Commentary will commence here as soon as the players start warming up.
Rafa leads the head to head against Roger with 19-10, having beaten him in their last encounter at this year’s Indian Wells Masters (6-4 6-2).
This will be Federer’s first final in 2013, whereas Nadal has already managed to claim 5 titles this season.
Both players had a fairly straight forward semi-final victories in Rome on Saturday, with the Swiss legend defeating Benoit Paire of France 7-6 (5) 6-4, whilst the Spaniard outclassed Czech Berdych also in straight sets 6-2 6-4.