London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Nadal continued his mastery of
Roger Federer and reached the championship match of the ATP World Tour Finals
for the second time.
The top-seeded Nadal battled back from an early break and claimed a 7-5, 6-3
victory over his long-time rival in the first semifinal on Sunday from the O2
Nadal will try to win the season-ending tournament for the first time in his
career on Monday against the victor of Sunday's second semifinal between Novak
Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka.
The Spaniard is unbeaten this week, having captured the Group A portion of the
round robin with a perfect 3-0 mark, and on Monday will try for his 11th title
of the 2013 season. He has already clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking, but
hasn't won a tournament since capturing the U.S. Open crown in September.
After beating Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, Nadal lost to the
Serb in the Beijing final and fell in the semifinals of Masters events at
Shanghai and Paris.
Federer, meanwhile, closed a disappointing 2013 campaign with just one title,
his fewest for a season since he also won once in 2001. He is a six-time
winner of this season-ending event, including a victory over Nadal in the 2010
Nadal, who also lost to Federer in the round robin of this event two years
ago, saved three break points in the sixth game of the match and broke Federer
on his first chance for a 5-4 lead.
Federer, though, broke right back, but was unable to keep the momentum. Nadal
came through with a second break for a 6-5 lead and held at love to close it
Nadal broke again for a 3-2 edge in the second set and never relinquished the
advantage. He didn't face a break point in the set and broke again to finish
the match, which ended after just 80 minutes when a Federer backhand approach
Federer committed 32 unforced errors to just 14 for Nadal, who converted each
of the four break-point opportunities he had against the Swiss star's serve.
Nadal improved to 22-10 lifetime against Federer, including 4-0 this year.
However, this was Nadal's first win against Federer on an indoor hard court.
On Monday, Nadal will try for his 61st career title. He is 22-16 lifetime
against Djokovic and 11-0 versus Wawrinka.
The Sports Network