Nadal beats Federer to reach final
Originally published on: 10/11/13 00:00
The world No.1 continued his remarkable year with a 7-5 6-3 victory at London’s O2 Arena to reach the finals of the year-end event for only the second time.
He will face either defending champion Novak Djokovic or Stanislas Wawrinka in Monday’s final in a bid to add the ATP World Tour Finals title to his 13 Grand Slams, 2008 Olympic gold medal, four Davis Cup titles and 26 Masters 1000 crowns.
Nadal had beaten Federer in all three of their previous meetings in 2013 and led their head-to-head 21-10, but had never beaten the Swiss in four encounters indoors, including defeat in the 2010 final at The O2. However, he was too consistent for the world No.7, who was left to rue a high error count, hitting 32 unforced errors to 17 winners.
The 32-year-old, playing in the semi-finals of the event for an 11th time in 12 years, started strongly and had an early chance to break but three break points passed him by as Nadal held on. It was the Spaniard who took first blood, converting his first break point for a 5-4 lead with a big forehand down the line.
Federer broke back to keep the set alive, but dropped his subsequent service game as Nadal wrapped up the opener with a love service game.
"My feeling is the first set, he played very well," Nadal said. "Until 4-4 he was playing better than me, in my opinion. I saved a few important break points and then I played a good game when I had a break."
The eight-time French Open champion tightened his grip on the match when he broke for a 3-2 lead, and broke once again with Federer serving to stay in the match, a backhand volley flying long as Nadal reached his 14th final of an extraordinary season.
"The most important thing for me is in the toughest surface for me to play, to be able to win four matches against top-eight players," Nadal added. "It is a very good way to finish the year. I hope to be ready for the [final]. I need to play my best match to have a chance."
“I just struggled to stay consistent enough throughout the match,” Federer admitted. “And that’s why he deserved to win. He was better today.”