This content was published 11 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Time and again tennis players are forced to raise their game when they take on Rafael Nadal. But the Majorcan is still able to take his own game to another level to see off their challenges, such is his recent form. Nadal did it against the in-form Tomas Berdych on Friday. He did it against David Ferrer in Barcelona last month. And he did it once more against his compatriot to make the Internazionali BNL d’Italia final again.
Ferrer put in a near faultless first set lasting one hour and 26 minutes but saw Nadal clinch the tiebreak 8-6 before the left hander wrapped up the second by a flattering 6-0 scoreline.
“The first set was unbelievable how David set the match with amazing rhythm and aggression for so long,” said a relieved Nadal. “His movements were unbelievably good. I think that the quality of tennis in the first set of the game was higher today than in Barcelona and that was my feeling and I had the fantastic match yesterday and so I didn’t play well it was because I couldn’t. His shot was good and aggressive and I did not have time to hit a ball with normal conditions and all the balls that he sent were very aggressive and very difficult.
“The best thing possible after a fantastic time in Barcelona and Monte Carlo, is to keep playing in clay tournaments. To get to the final without losing a set is something fantastic and I am happy. Tomorrow is difficult and an important. We can forget the tournament of Madrid – that wasn’t clay. My feeling are fantastic all the time. Rome for me is a important tournament and I am here for the seventh time and I cannot imagine this a few years ago. I am satisfied mentally with the first set. I was focused and I trying to wait for the second as he was a little tired.”
Nadal said his match against Berdych was his finest of the year so far but he was just as happywith this performance.
“The second set I played well and when you play this high level the rhythm makes the difference,” said the world No.3. “My feeling is that it was better but today was different. Against Berdych I was attacking from the beginning but I couldn’t hit the ball and so I was fighting against his backhand. Today I didn’t have that chance and if I hit a ball short and he put me in a bad position.”