Old rivals meet again in Sunday’s final of the Italian Open, as hot streaking Rafael Nadal faces Roger Federer in at center court in Rome.
It will be the 30th match between the two champions, but No. 5 ranked Nadal currently holds the edge with a 13-match winning streak. The Spaniard ousted Tomas Berdych in the semifinals 6-2, 6-4 to continue his incredible run in the 2013.
Nadal faced questions as to whether his knee was bothering him again after two three-set matches in the third round and quarterfinals. The 1-6 first set loss to Ernests Gulbis was one of the worst of Nadal’s career.
A win Saturday would clinch the sixth title for Nadal this year, and make him an even bigger favorite to win his eighth French Open next week.
No. 3 Federer advanced to the final after a 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 victory over Benoit Paire of France in the semis. Before this run in Rome, Federer was 1-1 on clay this year, and he’s lost one set in the tournament.
Nadal owns a 19-11 career record over Federer, including a 6-4, 6-2 quarterfinal win at Indian Wells back in March.
Coverage of the match will be provided by ESPN3 here.