Nadal makes short work of Federer

Spaniard takes just over an hour to see off his rival in the Rome Masters final

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland in their final match at the Romae Masters. Photograph:  Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Rafael Nadal of Spain in action against Roger Federer of Switzerland in their final match at the Romae Masters. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Sun, May 19, 2013, 18:22

Rafa Nadal took just over an hour to send Roger Federer packing and claim the Rome Masters title after winning the 30th ATP Tour clash between the two giants 6-1 6-3.

For their landmark meeting Federer produced one of his worst performances, with Nadal capitalising in ruthless fashion to move to 20-10 against Federer and 13-2 on his beloved clay surface.

In a perfect tune-up for next week’s French Open for the 26-year-old Spaniard, Nadal took just an hour and eight minutes to pick up the title at the Foro Italica.

Federer’s performance was littered with errors, as the Swiss made 32 unforced mistakes in just 16 games, while his serves was also misfiring as he could only find his first serve 58 percent of the time.

Nadal forced six break points and took five of them, while Federer managed just one break of the the Spaniard’s serve from his two break points.

Nadal continue to show no signs of the knee injury that kept him out of the game for seven months, with the win in Rome taking improving his run to three straight tournament victories.

It was also a sixth tournament win of the year, and he will head to Roland Garros in the best possible confidence as he goes in search of a eighth French Open title and fourth in a row.

Nadal was seeded just fifth in Rome, despite winning six titles in eight years, after losing rankings points during his spell on the sidelines, but it was soon apparent who the top dog on clay is in the final.

The first set slipped away from Federer quick as a flash, with Nadal taking it 6-1 in just 23 minutes courtesy of two breaks of serve.

Federer was a touch better in the second set, and showed some resistance by breaking to make it 5-2 in the seventh game, but after a hold he could not repeat the dose as Nadal brought up his 24th Masters title.

The win was Nadal’s 41st title on clay putting him in second place in the all-time list - ahead of Thomas Muster (40) and below Guillermo Vilas (46).