Nadal Defeats Ferrer for 5th Rome Masters

by John on May 2, 2010

No. 3 seed Rafael Nadal won his fifth Rome Masters crown earlier today, dispatching fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in one hour and 44 minutes in a match twice interrupted by rain. Nadal, who ended an 11-month title drought two weeks ago with a win in Monte Carlo, picked up his 27th clay-court title in 29 finals. The No. 3-ranked Spaniard showed no signs of fatigue after pulling out a grueling three-set win over Ernests Gulbis in the semifinals on Saturday. “I didn’t play at the level I did in Monte Carlo but I’m still winning and that’s the important thing,” Nadal said. “Winning the tournament in Monte Carlo losing 14 games doesn’t happen every week. That’s not usual. I’m probably more happy without playing [my] best. It was more of a mental thing.” The title was Nadal’s 17th Masters Series championship, tying him with Andre Agassi for the all-time record. No. 1 Roger Federer, who lost to Gulbis in the second round earlier in the week, is next with 16. Ferrer, the No. 13 seed, battled gamely until being broken at 5-5 in the first set, but then fell victim to Nadal’s relentless pressure. Nadal broke again in the third and seventh games of the second set before serving it out to consolidate the win. The rain delays of an hour in the first set and one hour and 45 minutes in the second seemed to bother Ferrer more than Nadal. “Maybe the court was slower and I had problems to [end] the points,” Ferrer said. “Of course Rafael had good chances in the important moments. It’s difficult against him but I’m happy with my game.” Nadal hit 24 winners to Ferrer’s 15 and had only 17 unforced errors to his opponent’s 30. Rafa dominated the net, winning 13 points on 17 forays forward. Ferrer was seven for 13. Nadal improved to 26-4 on the year and now has 38 career titles. “It’s important to have the motivation to want to keep improving. That’s the main thing,” Nadal said. “That’s how it’s been all my career, all my life, and I still do it. I love to play tennis. I love the competition.”

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