Roger and Rafa to renew epic rivalry

The Roger and Rafa show is back in town.

After a year in which the tennis world has been deprived of seeing one of its greatest ever rivalries played out on court, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal battled through their Madrid Open semi-finals on Saturday to set up a mouthwatering showdown on the clay at the Magic Box arena.

Spaniard Nadal was first into Sunday’s final when he came from a set down to beat compatriot Nicolas Almagro 4-6 6-2 6-2 and world number one Federer joined him by dispatching David Ferrer, another Spaniard, 7-5 3-6 6-3.

The last time the pair met across the net in a competitive match was in last year’s Madrid final.

Federer’s 6-4 6-4 victory 12 months ago sparked off a golden spell for the Swiss as he went on to capture an emotional first title at Roland Garros before triumphing at Wimbledon for a sixth time.

One of the keys to Roger's success today was certainly his serve - he dropped just two points on his own serve in the first set and a break in game 11 helped him secure the set in a little over 45 minutes. Ferrer broke Roger in set number two, taking the fourth game and continuing strong in order to force a decider. Roger then managed to raise the pressure in the third set and secured the vital break of serve in the eighth game. He showed a few more terrific points before closing out the match with an ace and with it a fourth Madrid final in five years.

“I think it’s exciting for tennis and for us as well that we can face off again,” a relaxed-looking Federer told a news conference.

“He’s playing really well on clay now, I’m finding my form again really nicely here in Madrid so it’s one of those finals you just never know,” the 28-year-old added.

“I was able to come up with the right plays at the right time in the final last year and I have to do something similar tomorrow to come through.”

“I knew on clay I was going to come through a tougher period and that’s what happened in the second set,” Federer said.

“He (Ferrer) doesn’t miss much, he fights like crazy and he’s really improved over the last few years.”

Sunday's final will take place earliest at 6.30 p.m. (local time). Roger and Rafa had met each other in the final in Madrid last year, the outcome then was 6-4, 6-4 in Roger's favour.

Date: 16.05.2010, Source: RF Official & Reuters


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