Once again, Rafael Nadal is proving to be the man to beat on clay…
The 26-year-old Spanish tennis star dropped only four games in beating Roger Federer in 68 minutes to earn his seventh Italian Open title.
“I’m playing much better than I dreamed of a few months ago,” Nadal said. “I’m doing the right things to play well.”
In the 30th career meeting between the archrivals, who share 28 Grand Slam singles titles amongst them, Nadal claimed the 6-1 6-3 victory at Rome’s Foro Italico.
He has now won six of his eight tournaments since returning in February from a seven-month break due to knee injury.
Nadal improved to 20-10 in his career against Federer, and he showed once again that he will be the player to beat when the French Open starts next Sunday. He’s looking to win an Open-era record eighth title at Roland Garros.
With 11 wins in their 13 previous matches on clay, Nadal was a heavy favorite against Federer in Rome, but the way he dispatched of his competitor was still quite impressive.
“He played very aggressively from the start,” said Federer. “He didn’t make too many mistakes and had a good match overall.
“Rafa has much more topspin than all the guys I played this week, so the change was quite a big one. I tried to play offensively, but unfortunately I didn’t have the best day.”
“It didn’t go the way I was hoping it to go.”