Federer, Nadal to renew rivalry in Rome final

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final on Sunday - exactly a week before the French Open starts.

In Saturday's semifinals at the Foro Italico, Federer held off a stiff challenge from Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (5), 6-4. Six-time Rome champion Nadal defeated sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, a day after Berdych rallied to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

Federer, who recently returned from a seven-week break from the circuit, it will be his first final of the year.

''We are here in 2013 and he is No. 3 in the world and I am No. 5 after not playing months and we are still playing good, and I hope that this is not going to be the last time,'' Nadal said.

The men's final will mark the 30th meeting between Federer and Nadal, and it will be a rematch of the 2006 Rome final that Nadal won in a fifth-set tiebreaker. These days, Masters series finals are best-of-three sets.

The Swiss is bidding to win the title at the Foro Italico for the first time, having finished runner-up in 2003 (l. to Mantilla) and 2006.

Nadal holds a 19-10 edge head to head against Federer, but they have split their last four meetings.
''It's nice to have these revival moments for both of us,'' Federer said. ''I'm sure we're both looking forward to it. I clearly am.''

Federer overcame a break of his serve midway through the first set against the 36th-ranked Paire, who was playing his first Masters series semifinal. The set was decided by just a few points in the tiebreaker, which Federer closed out with an overhead smash.

Federer then went ahead with an early break in the second set and stayed in front from there.

Date: 18th May 2013, Source: AP


  1. So much hope he can get his first title of the year. Would be such a sweet victory!!!!!