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Men's Tennis (ATP)

Nadal captures 7th Rome title in rout of Federer



Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Even the great Roger Federer couldn't quell Rafael Nadal's momentum.

The fifth-seeded Spaniard dominated his rival on Sunday and captured a seventh Italian Masters title with a 6-1, 6-3 victory.

After Federer held to open the match, Nadal won nine straight games to seize control.

The second-seeded Swiss superstar continued to fight, consolidating a break at love in the seventh game of the second set with a hold. Nadal, though, closed out the lopsided bout with a love service game.

Nadal, who is now 41-2 all-time at the Foro Italico, played in his eighth final in as many events this year since returning from a seven-month layoff because of a knee injury. He is in superior form heading into the French Open, which begins next Sunday.

"I don't want to think about Roland Garros yet. Let me enjoy this victory," Nadal said.

The victory gave Nadal his sixth title of 2013 and upped his career total to 56. It was also his 41st clay court crown, moving him past Thomas Muster for the second-most in the Open Era. Only Guillermo Vilas has more with 46.

Federer's serve was ineffective against Nadal, who converted all but one of his six break points. Federer, a Rome runner-up in 2003 and 2006, had been broken just twice en route to reaching his first final of the year.

"It didn't go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points," Federer said. "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."

Sunday's match marked the 30th between the decorated players and the 20th with a title on the line. Nadal improved 20-10 against Federer, including a 13-2 mark on clay.

05/19 14:43:34 ET

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