This content was published 9 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.
Given the class of Roger Federer, no-one expected Rafael Nadal to beat him in such convincing fashion. The 6-1, 6-3 is about the biggest defeat of the Swiss legend’s career and even Nadal was shocked at how comprehensively he won. We had expected another titanic tussle between the two great rivals. But the final proved a damp squib as Nadal proved just why he deserves to be regarded as one of the greatest players ever to have played the game on clay. “It was surprising,” he admitted afterwards. “I did not expect 6-1 but that is what happened. It is always surprising when you play against someone like Roger – and you win 61 – how can I explain when these things happen and you have to combine a few facts. “It happened in London to me in the Masters Cup and without winning a lot of points – 5-1 and then 6-1 and to make this happen between two players when there is not a big difference and so one player is playing well and the other is making more mistakes than usual on that day.” Nadal cannot hide his delight at the form since his return from injury in February – eight consecutive finals – and cannot wait for his French Open campaign. “If you tell me that four or five months ago then I would say you are crazy,” he said. “After 8 tournaments and six victories and two finals is a dream for me . It is more than what I ever dreamed about four months ago and all I can say is thank you for the support and to my team that thanks to them I have the chance to be here again and compete. “If I play like this and I arrive to Roland Garros and somebody beats me I shake his hand and so I am happy. I am playing much better that some months ago and I am doing the right things and I am playing well.” Forever the gentleman, Federer was philosophical in defeat. “I feel it was a one sided result,” he admitted. “It didn’t go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points . I played pretty good tennis but perhaps it was too quick a turn around and Rafa was playing really well.”