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Nadal Masterclass Stuns Federer, Wins 24th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Crown

Rome, Italy

Nadal© AFP/Getty ImagesRafael Nadal won his sixth title of the year in Rome.

Rafael Nadal produced a clay-court masterclass Sunday to capture his 24th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title and his seventh Internazionali BNL d'Italia crown.

Fifth seed Nadal sunk his teeth into his sixth trophy of 2013 after he defeated second seed Roger Federer 6-1, 6-3 at the Foro Italico in Rome. It was their 20th final meeting (Nadal leads 14-6).

"If you told me four or five months ago that after eight tournaments I would have won six titles from eight finals, I would say you are crazy," said Nadal, who will rise to No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday. "To win three [ATP World Tour] Master 1000 and two [ATP World Tour] 500 tournaments is more than I ever dreamed. 

"All I can say is 'thank you for the support and to my team'. Thanks to them I have the chance to be here again and compete. I don’t want to think about Roland Garros yet. Let me enjoy this victory."

By winning the 56th trophy of his career, Nadal received €501,700 and 1,000 Emirates ATP Ranking points. Federer picked up €246,000 and 600 points. Nadal now leads Federer 20-10 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

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Nadal dominated the opening set, breaking serve three times to win six straight games. Federer hit 82 per cent of first serves into court, attempted to mix up his tactics, but committed 15 unforced errors as Nadal targeted his single-handed backhand. At one stage, Nadal won 20 of 25 points.

Federer raised his game in the second set and broke a nine-game losing streak for 1-3, but Nadal was performing at close to his best. Nadal served for the match at 5-1, but was broken to love. Eight minutes later, Nadal completed his 36th win in 38 matches this year. He had committed eight unforced errors in 68 minutes.

“It didn't go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points,” said Federer. “He does an incredible job returning form the back of the court and it is hard because he covers the court so well. You need to serve accurately. When Rafa is at his best he creates opportunities in rallies and dictates. It was difficult to change.”

Nadal has now won 41 clay-court titles during his career. In 2013, he has won three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies, including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (d. del Potro) and the Mutua Madrid Open (d. Wawrinka).

On 14 May 2006, Nadal saved two championship points against Federer in the Rome final to win 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5). Federer also lost the 2003 final. View ATP Heritage Section

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