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Sunday, 13 October 2019

Tennis: Nadal overpowers Federer to reach year-ending final

Nadal downs old rival Federer to reach the ATP World Tour final

Reuters, Sunday 10 Nov 2013
Rafa Nadal
Rafael Nadal of Spain (R) shakes hands with Roger Federer of Switzerland after defeating him in the men's singles semi-final tennis match at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 10, 2013. (Photo: REUTERS)
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Rafa Nadal's growing domination of great rival Roger Federer continued with a comprehensive 7-5 6-3 victory in the semi-finals of the ATP World Tour Finals on Sunday.

The mid-afternoon clash was not one of the best in their 32-match series as Federer faded badly in the second set to hand Nadal his first victory over him on an indoor court.

Nadal was thrashed 6-3 6-0 by Federer at the o2 Arena two years ago but after a tight first proved too strong for the 32-year-old Swiss who looked weary after his three-set victory over Juan Martin Del Potro on Saturday.

The year could now have a mouth-watering grand finale with Nadal up against defending champion and world number two Novak Djokovic on Monday although Swiss Stansilas Wawrinka will be hoping to ruin the script in the second semi-final later.

Federer had the first chance on Sunday when he put the world number one in trouble on serve in the sixth game but Nadal held firm and broke Federer's serve to lead 5-4.

The Swiss played a scintillating point at 15-30 in the next game, ending an exhausting baseline exchange when he rifled a forehand down the line and Nadal ballooned out a forehand to hand Federer the break back.

However, a third consecutive break of serve gave Nadal a second chance to take the opener and this time he made no mistake with a clinical love game.

When a Federer forehand nose-dived into the net on break point at 2-2 the belief seemed to drain out of the 32-year-old and the end came quickly as Nadal extended his career record over the 17-times grand slam champion to 22-10.

"It's the perfect way to finish one of the best seasons of my career to have the chance to win a title I've never won," Nadal, who has won everything in the sport apart from the season-ending tournament, said on court.

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