Federer, Nadal Two Sets From Rome Masters Final Clash
by Staff | May 18th, 2013, 9:05 am
  • 97 Comments

The two legends of our sport, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, are now just two sets from a clash in the Rome Masters Sunday final. Before then, both have semifinal opponents to get through on this rainy afternoon in Italy.

Nadal, a six time champion with a 39-2 career mark at Rome, comes off back-to-back three set matches to face Tomas Berdych. Rafa has beaten the Czech in their last 12 meetings and 13 times out of 16. But Berdych overturned an 11-match losing streak yesterday to Novak Djokovic, so might he be primed for another streak stopper today?

Thus far Berdcyh has dropped just one set – Djokovic – and has been broken just four times en route to just his four Masters semifinal (1-2 record).

Rafa has reached the finals at all seven events he’s entered this year since his return in February. And he’s 21-0 in clay semifinal matches. He’s also won 16 of his last 17 matches against Top 10 players on his favorite dirt surface.

Federer continues his quest for a first career Rome title later against the eccentric shotmaker Benoit Paire. Federer hasn’t dropped a set all week though was pushed yesterday by the towering Jerzy Janowicz in the quarters. The Pole was unable to serve out the second set and Federer took the match in a breaker.

Federer hasn’t won a title on the year nor has he reached a final, so it’s a big opportunity today for the 31-year-old against the underdog Frenchman.

Federer and Paire have met twice before, both in the last eight months, with the Swiss winning each in very easy fashion. But Paire is playing his best tennis of late and he lost just one game yesterday to Marcel Granollers en route to his first Masters semifinal. He also collected his first career Top 10 win Thursday beating Juan Martin Del Potro. And by reaching this stage the 24-year-old has earned his first seeding a Slam at the French Open.

Federer and Nadal last met on the clay last year in Madrid at the 2011 French Open. The two have a history in Rome also. They played one of the great matches of all-time in the 2006 Rome final won by Nadal in a fifth set tiebreaker after saving matchpoints.

Nadal leads Federer 19-10 in the rivalry and 12-2 on clay courts.

CENTRALE start 12:00 noon
[1] S Williams (USA) vs [Q] S Halep (ROU) – WTA

Not Before 2:00 PM
[3] V Azarenka (BLR) vs [7] S Errani (ITA) – WTA

Not Before 4:00 PM
[6] T Berdych (CZE) vs [5] R Nadal (ESP) – ATP

Not Before 8:00 PM
B Paire (FRA) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
[1] B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [5] M Mirnyi (BLR) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP


Also Check Out:
Federer, Nadal Seeded to Meet in Rome Semifinals
Nadal Wins Title, Djokovic Ranking Drop in Rome
Roger Federer Wins 8th Different Masters 1000 Title, Ties Djokovic, Moves Ahead Of Nadal
Novak Djokovic’s Physio: He Should Be Ready For Rome And The French Open
Nadal Beats Ferrer for 5th Rome Title

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97 Comments for Federer, Nadal Two Sets From Rome Masters Final Clash

Kimmi Says:

Best draw for Federer in Rome. Good to see he is taking adv of it.


Sirius Says:

Fed and nadal did not meet on clay last year, it was 2011 french open when they last met on clay


Humble Rafa Says:

I look forward to continuing the “rivalry” especially on clay.


Sirius Says:

First game, Nadal breaks. Usual Berdych


skeezer Says:

Birdsh!t:

“The ball boys are slow”.


Wog boy Says:

Berdych wasn’t missing those volleys against Nole. He sh!tscared when he plays Rafa. Not worth staying awake, Rafa is slaughtering him.


skeezer Says:

Rafa is running around B to the point its laughable. Birdsh!t looks like a deer in headlights.


Alex Says:

I am so happy Birdsh%T is getting crushed by Nadal :)).

Wishing for a Fedal final, even though Feds chances are not good, just wanna see the two legends back in the final.


gonzalowski Says:

Rafa goes “a degüello” today


Thomas Says:

Birdshit is getting crushed. Shocking….


gonzalowski Says:

No taking prisoners


Alex Says:

I want Nadal to run Berdych from corner to corner till his legs flop, I want Nadal to dry Volley his skull repeatedly till he apologizes for being a Birdsh#t.


gonzalowski Says:

12 winners in 1º set.
His paralel drive working “a full”.
31 minutes
:-))


van orten Says:

keeping it closer in the 2nd


skeezer Says:

buh bye birdsh!t


van orten Says:

bye bye berdych !!!


van orten Says:

that is why i cannot take berdy seriosly..not one first serve in that last game..and boom -. broken!!!didnt happen yesterday but today it was clear this happened


nadalista Says:

8 tournaments, 8 finals…………..

#ArtistOnClay

Vamos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


skeezer Says:

Congrats to my main man Rafa(only when he plays against the B man ). Beast in motion.

Rafa must have Superman knees. 7 mos off from Chronic injured knees and never missed a beat on Clay. If Fed gets through today, he should invite Rafa over for a few drinks tonight and spike his drinks. It may be his only chance.


alison Says:

Skeezer lol.


skeezer Says:

btw congrats to Serena. She is on a winning streak of 23 straight matches, and into the Final.


gonzalowski Says:

Yesss!
Clay goat!
1 sole break point to solve in the match.
Berdych’s face in their net encounter at the end was like “impressive performance, I’ve not been able to do anything “


nadalista Says:

Congratulations to Rafa.

Congratulations to all Rafans.

Congratulations to ALL who love and understand clay court tennis.

Congratulations to all who understand tennis.

Vamos!!!!


alison Says:

Wonder if its a record to actually make the final of every tourney you have played so far in a season?


Brando Says:

VAMOS RAFA!

Clinical, efficient, in control, dominate against a form player (respect to Berdy for back to back SF in MS series event’s).

Best display so far this tourny, and I hope he improves even further.

Onwards and upwards Rafa!

VAMOS!!!


harry Says:

@skeezer (12:06) — hilarious!
—-

Yes, congratulations to Rafa fans…


gonzalowski Says:

Federer will play today with Nadal in his mind


alison Says:

Thankyou Harry :-))..


harry Says:

@Alison — It is the seventh successive final for him, isn’t it? Really impressive :)


harry Says:

^— I see it is 8. Makes it even more impressive…


Giles Says:

Vamos King!
Another one bites the dust, or should I say clay!


Margot Says:

Unlucky 13 for Big Bird. Shame…not.
Rafa looked absolutely amazing in that first set. Unstoppable.


nadalista Says:

RT @SharkoTennis: “.@RafaelNadal wins 47th clay SF in a row @InteBNLdItalia since last SF clay loss to No. 4 @Charlymoya at ’03 Umag.”


nadalista Says:

Tomorrow: FEDAL.

#NormalServiceResumes


Aon Says:

for djoker there is only one solution,just kidnap rafa before RG,that’s the only way to winning RG.lol

4 down 1 left,

go rafa.


Denver Says:

Not just Rafa he has to kidnap Haas, Berdych, dimitrov and probably Federer too.


Denver Says:

The tournament is I would say already over. Just two meaningless matches remaining.
#WasteOfTime


Aon Says:

@ denver

ya, u r right. i forgot to mention these guys,


Forehand Says:

Interesting aspect of the match coming up next is Fed fans will be rooting for Paire and Rafa fans will be rooting for Federer.


gonzalowski Says:

@ Forehand:

jeje


Teeg Says:

@alison

“Wonder if its a record to actually make the final of every tourney you have played so far in a season?”

I dont know…I know in 06 Roger played 17 tournaments and made 16 finals, only losing to Rafa (4 finals) and Murray (2nd rd. Cincinnati), and finishing with a 92-5 record. That remains the single best season I have ever seen!


courbon Says:

Aha, and Rafa needs to kidnap Novak…(remember Monaco or already forgot?)and Rosol just to be sure…he,he


van orten Says:

^^ amnesia


courbon Says:

@ Brando
@ Alison: Congratulations to Rafas another clinical win-good luck in final


Aon Says:

forgot ? no , it’s haas,dimi,delpo,bardy.


Andrea Says:

Did anyone think berdych was gonna win this one? I sure didn’t. It is looking more and more like a fed rafa final, but let’s see what paire brings to the table.

I can’t handle watching rafa maneuver the points to start the onslaught on Feds backhand. We all know how that ends.

However, there is a micro chance for fed to beat him….but we’re talking atoms and protons….that’s how micro.


nadalista Says:

How can we forget Monte Carlo? That’s when Novak beat Rafael Nadal, seized the throne and became the new King of Clay, and favourite for RG.

As King he didn’t have to win any more clay tournaments, why bother? He graciously lost in the early rounds of Madrid and Rome as a favour to his underlings, all the better for them to feed on the scraps.

Such munificence……

Long Live The King!


courbon Says:

@ Nadalista: Don’t get so upset-it was just silly comment to counter silly comment from Rafas fans.And your constant talking about Novaks fans proclaiming Novak is King of Clay is complete BS-nobody did that -its just you, repeating that for the last month…Don’t worry, Rafa will win RG-calm down


Daniel Says:

Alison, Teeg is right.

In 2006 Fed played ever final until Cincinati when he lost to amurray 2nd round. So that was AO, Dubai, IW, Miami, MC, Rome, Hamburgo, RG, Halle, Wimbledon. Canada,11 straight finals winning 7 titles in 3 diffrenet surfaces.


Daniel Says:

Guys one match or one good season don’t change the legacy of what was done before. Even if Djoko wins RG beating Nadal he will just be better than Nadal on clay THIS season. Same goes for Nadal and Feder. Federer is superior grass player but in 2008 Nadal was undefeated on Grass and beat Fedd in the final. He was better THAT year.

Same goes with Djoko and Federer. Right now Djoko is superior clay court player but overall Fed is better on clay than Djoko and even when/if Djoko wins RG this will be debatable.

Nadal will always be superior clay court player than Fed and Djoko overall. He may just not be agaisnt Djoko is year and a fee next (maybe).


alison Says:

Daniel/Teeg thanks for the info,i was just interested,had a feeling Roger would be in that conversation ha ha.


alison Says:

Courbon thankyou :),TBH im just delighted hes back playing,never in a million years did i expect him to come back and have done so well after been out for so long,regardless of what happens against most likely Roger tomorrow(who has also had a fantastic week,and will be the fresher of the two),and even if he doesnt win at RG this year,im pleased hes still up there challenging the top players win or loose.


M Says:

Comments hilarious today.

This was my favorite:

“Tomorrow: FEDAL.

#NormalServiceResumes”

:-D

assuming Roger doesn’t lose focus and shank his way out of the final.


nadalista Says:

If Fed loses to Benoit “Pizza” Paire I will exact revenge by becoming a Fedbot……

That is a promise, not a threat……….

#IWantFedal


nadalista Says:

Break back Fed…….

Allez!!


Forehand Says:

Yes I also want Fedal
#20


nadalista Says:

Does Paire know he’s playing the GOAT? Where’s the respect?


nadalista Says:

Vamos!!

GOAT is in the house………..7/6, 1st set.


John Says:

Fed far from his best but still takes the set!

Hope to see Fed and Nadal play lots more before he hangs up his racquet. Doesn’t matter who you like, gotta admit Fed and Nadal are the kings, just seems legendary when those two stand on a court together, no matter the outcome. I enjoy them more now cause I know its not gonna be around for ever.

Fed hasn’t won yet!


nadalista Says:

Fed has yet to register an ace, Benoit has 8………….


Daniel Says:

2 DF’s to give Fed a break.


nadalista Says:

Fed breaks, I can smell FEDAL………….


John Says:

@Nadalista

By the way nadlista I read someone was insulting you under my name, sorry about that. Rest assured it was not me, seem to be alot of John’s ou there. Scary!

Double fault-Fed breaks.


alison Says:

John nice post i share your sentiments,whomever your a fan of lets enjoy them both while they are still here as they wont be around forever,both are legends,both will go down in history,and the sports all the better for it too.


nadalista Says:

No worries @John. I don’t pay any attention to insults, only compliments…………


Aon Says:

two backhand winners by paire on fed serve .


nadalista Says:

Bello, Fed, bello!!


Daniel Says:

Regarding Fedal warros, well it is already 2×1 in favour of Nadal so when Fed gets his 11 win Nadal will be 22.
As of now Fed nphas no business beating Nadal on clay but at least he will try

What crushes his chances is Nadal’s return. He needs to get as many easy points on serve as possible and have good placement to get a weak return bevause once Nadal is able tomhit his returns deep he starts dictating and we all know how it goes. Fed needs to protect his service games as best as possible to have any chance. If Nadal returns as he did today and Fed serves no ace, close deal once again


John Says:

@Nadalista

Good to hear :)

@Alison
Indeed, they show utmost respect towards each other which is excellent. Both can appreciate one one another for who they are-Two legends from the last generation and the current.

Timeless-:)


nadalista Says:

Congratulations Fed, first final this year!

#FEDAL


John Says:

Fed just made everybody’s Sunday!


skeezer Says:

Fed always magical, artistry amd poetry on court. well sone and a joy to watch. so much better than watching a Truck.


John Says:

^^^

#ClassyTennisFan


nadalista Says:

Such a nice gentleman, Fed, giving everybody what they want: Ritual slaughter tomorrow!


alison Says:

John that is such a refreshing post,makes a change to here a post about genuine love of the game,and none of the sarcastic name calling or silly bickering,just respect about two of the all time greats of the game,here/here well said :))..


John Says:

@alison, thx :)

Couldn’t agree more.


nadalista Says:

Hmmm, FEDAL deserves better than your run of the mill G&T, will make a plan…………..

Bravo Rafa!
Bravo Roger!


Kimberly Says:

nice to see a Fedal final again, regardless of result since everyone saying they were washed up, and Nolandy the new thing. Yet here they are, in a final of a masters.


John Says:

Just had a funny thought. Just imagine all Fed and Nadal fans combined and became Fedal. You would have the most devastating fan group ever, lol.

#Unstoppable


Daniel Says:

Uhuuuu. Fnally a final!!
To bad and good is his main rival.
Good result to spice things for RG

Tennis Gods make Nadal has an off day tomorrow on an outdor match versus Fed for a change. I am not asking tor him to play bad just not his A+ whoch always comes against Fed!:)

We will know in first 2 games tomorrow if Nadal starts the way he did agaisnt Berdy today not gonna happen but if the Gulbis or Ferrer Nadal shows up we’ll have a match.


alison Says:

Rafa on Roger its an honour to play Roger hes the GOAT,its always very special to play him,what great respect Rafa is showing here to Roger,shame the two sets of fans cannot do the same,Vamos Rafa,Allez Roger hope its a great final whomever wins.


Giles Says:

^^^^ “Vamos Rafa, Allez Roger”. Aren’t you being just a little bit contradictory there??? It’s either one or the other, cannot be both!!!! #Geez


John Says:

^
Hahah true, how often do they play though?

Also it was more meant towards wen they are not playing each other. Anyways, if you like both it doesn’t matter who loses-*that’s my point.

#FanOfTEnnis


John Says:

@Giles

You hate Roger though, doesn’t really matter, right?


alison Says:

Giles im a fan of Rafa,but i also admire and respect Roger,its only a game,not a war.


van orten Says:

fed showing good form…he is in the end the 2nd best clay courter of his generation( i consider nadal part of it since 2004)
consistencywise he is almost impecible…almost;
i can live with that, nadal is the most regular clay player of all time – records do not lie. he is the best and all wins against him on his “surface”, fed number 2,but number 1 on grass and hc. how many years nadal was number two behind fed.? it is ok to be number two when you have been number 1 before°! nothing more to say

great tennis again this week.

love fedal!


van orten Says:

sarcasm^


John Says:

Lst time Fed and Nadal stood on the podium together was 2011 Rolland Gaross, So should be awesome.


Giles Says:

@ John. No, I don’t hate Roger, far from it.
@ alison. Read my post again. If you are a Rafan you should cheer for your fav.


alison Says:

Giles of course i will root for Rafa as hes my favorite,it goes without saying.


Steve 27 Says:

When Ivan Lendl beat Brad Gilbert for the 16th time in 16 tries, the Czech snorted: “I could be on my deathbed with a 110-degree temperature and still beat you.”

Nadal could said the same of Berdych.


alison Says:

Must also congratulate Serena Williams that is some amazing run shes on,i think actually only Vika at her very best has a chance against Serena,im just wondering if Maria pulling out with an illness was a tactical move to avoid another possible beatdown from Serena,clay is not considered Serenas best surface,but she seems to be playing pretty great,i wouldnt bet against her winning the FO this year too.


John Says:

For anyone who missed the fed match…you can watch it here:

youtube.com/watch?v=-O-YfRgz6h8


Steve 27 Says:

Tactical note: Rafa was asked in his court-side interview for Spanish TV how he cancels out Berdych’s main weapon, the serve: “Well, you can see… I receive it 4 metres behind the baseline. From there, he can’t ace me with any serve except the swinging one to my backhand on the deuce court. That’s a risky serve for him, so he needs to have a very good day to get a lot of first serves to that corner. Well, if he can do that OK, he will be very hard to break. But I’ve got the other 3 out of 4 serve directions covered and if I’m playing well and hitting the ball well I can return deep from back there where I receive. That long return gives me time to move back up to the baseline to take his next shot, take it inside the line if I can. Then I have to peg him back behind his baseline because Thomas is very dangerous if you let him step inside. And I have to move him before he moves me, and to keep him moving. If I can do all that, I have a good chance.” Today it worked a treat and goes some way to explaining the 18-3 H2H.


skeezer Says:

hey steve. 27

wanna post birdsh!ts first serv %? maybe under 65%? rafa got a good look at alot of 2nd serves. dope.


Anna Says:

Fedal…. I know I have to relish these finals because they’re becoming fewer and far between, but it’s always a win/lose prospect for me. I want Rafa to win, but then I always feel bad for Fed. They’re both just so great. I’ve watched a lot of champions come and go over the years in a lot of different sports but these two take the cake. It floors me that certain fans of one think you have to hate the other to be a true fan, but how can you love sports and not appreciate what both bring to the game. Just a few short years and it will all be over. Then I guess we’ll remininise about these two who pushed each other to greatness.


alison Says:

Anna well said.

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