World No. 3 Rafael Nadal waited out the rain and the consistency of David Ferrer, defeating his fellow Spaniard 7-5, 6-2 on Sunday to successfully defend his Rome title and collect his fifth overall.
It was also the 17th Masters Series title won by Nadal, equaling the record of Andre Agassi.
“I am 23 and sure 17 is a very important number for me,” Nadal said.”There are some tournaments coming up – Madrid is coming up soon — and so I’m going to try to keep winning, but these tournaments are very difficult and some of the best players in the world are there…Probably I didn’t play as well as Monte Carlo. I played well, but not as well as Monte Carlo, but the important thing is winning.”
Ferrer endeavored to play high-risk tennis against the former No. 1, and led 5-4 with Nadal serving at 0-30 but could not close the deal. The two players waited out a 1-1/2 hour rain delay, where Nadal returned with vigor.
“After the rain, the court was slower and of course Rafa is in form, especially in difficult moments and it’s difficult to beat him,” Ferrer said. “But I was pleased with my game.”
Nadal has now claimed the Rome title in 2005-07, and ’09-10.
Ferrer nonetheless leads the tour with a 23-4 claycourt record in 2010.
“This is the first time with a Masters 1000 final in Rome and I am happy with that,” Ferrer said. “I am happy with my season this year — it is important for me and for my confidence for my next tournaments.”
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