The final of Rome featured two legends battling for the title: Roger Federer against Rafael Nadal.
However, the match proved to be a one-man show as the Nadal won, surprisingly easy, his sixth title of 2013 in straight sets.
Nadal has at points during this week been hugely troubled, but when facing major rival Federer he was absolutely ruthless right from the beginning.
Federer managed to hold for a 1-0 lead in the first set, but after that game, he got nothing more on the scoresheet as Nadal raced into a 6-1 lead. It was an absolute domination from the Spaniard, who broke Federer’s serve three times.
Nadal was playing brilliantly but Federer had way too many unforced errors during the first set - 15 to be exact. Unfortunately for the Swiss, the troubles continued early in the second set as Nadal broke immediately to get one hand on the trophy.
The Spaniard refused to let his lead slip away. He controlled the remaining games easily but slipped a little when serving for the match at 5-1. Federer did, however, only get one break of serve back and the match ended 6-1 6-3 in favour of the Spaniard, who truly outplayed “The Swiss Maestro” this evening.
Nadal played close to his best throughout the whole fight and only committed eight unforced errors in 68 minutes of play. Moreover, he did by the help of this magnificent victory extend his head-to-head score with Federer to 20 wins and 10 losses.
"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 yet. Let me enjoy this victory."
This was the 56th time Rafa has won an ATP-tour level tournament and 41st time on clay. As a comparison, the rest of the top 10 competitors together have 38 titles on clay.
Federer, who reached his first final of 2013, was very disappointed with his performance - especially his usually perfect forehand, which let him down many times.
“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.”
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