World No.3, Rafael Nadal is currently playing the ongoing Rome Masters and has already progressed to the round of 16 after seeing off the threat of Jannik Sinner in straight sets yesterday.
The Spaniard is also one of the favoruites to win the title for a record 10th time. Nadal has already won 11 titles in Monte Carlo; 12 in Barcelona and 13 at the French Open. The No.2 seed will take on Canadian, Denis Shapavalov today later in the day.
The 34-year-old has stamped his authority in Foro Italico after winning his maiden title in 2005. However, his famous win over arch-rival, Roger Federer in 2006 has gone down in the history books as one of the best ever clay court finals.
Recalling his incredible win over the former world no.1, Nadal expressed, “Amazing feeling. Roger had a lot of chances to win. I was so powerful and young! I was running more before than now. I like to watch the old matches to see how my game evolved.”
Federer, who had beaten Nadal only once in five attempts before the Rome Masters, started well by taking the first set in a tie-break. However, the teenager responded by winning the next two sets. Just when it appeared that Nadal would wrap up proceedings in four sets, the Swiss maestro hit back and took the match into a decider.
Federer squandering two match points
In the final set, Federer was leading Nadal and despite having two match points, he failed to get the job done. In the end, after four-grueling hours of tennis, the King of Clay extended his unbeaten run to 53 consecutive wins on the clay, matching Guillermo Vilas’ record. It also put the 19-year-old level with Björn Borg on 16 titles as a teenager.
Even today, the Rome Masters remains one of the two titles, along with Monte Carlo to elude Federer. After Nadal, world no.1, Novak Djokovic has reigned supreme in the Italian Capital with five titles.