Rome: Rafael Nadal registered a thumping victory over his arch-rival Roger Federer on their 30th meeting at Rome Masters on Sunday. His 6-1, 6-3 triumph over Federer makes him lead Federer 20-10 overall, of which 13 came on his all-time favourite clay court.
Federer failed to get a grip on the match even after winning the opening game and Nadal optimized it really well as he broke the Swiss twice on his way to a 6-1 first set score inside 23 minutes.
Second set saw some more resilience from Federer who was still lagging behind by 2-5 and went onto win the eighth game to make it 3-5 but Nadal put brakes in the ninth game and sealed the match with a cross-court forehand winner.
In all, the Swiss finished with 32 unforced errors to Nadal's eight. Nadal now has 24 Masters titles in a career total of 56.
Meanwhile, with his win over Roger Federer in Sunday’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia final in Rome, Rafael Nadal will overtake David Ferrer for World No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. The result has huge implications for Roland Garros, as Nadal's No. 4 seeding guarantees the seven-time champion cannot meet World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Andy Murray or No. 3 Federer before the semi-finals. Murray’s status remains questionable, as the Scot is battling a lower back issue.
Nadal will enter Paris on the back of a 15-match win streak and three successive titles (Barcelona, Madrid, Rome) as he bids to extend his record reign at the second major tournament of the season. Last year, the Mallorcan surpassed Bjorn Borg for the most Roland Garros titles of all-time by defeating Djokovic for his seventh crown in eight years. Nadal has won 41 tour-level titles on clay, including five this season.