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As expected after the release of the draw of the 2012 Rome Masters, we have two defiant semi-finalists up against each other – it is a clash between two contenders, who love to play on red-soil and come from the same country. Brace yourself to enjoy sublime tennis action, when World No. 3 Rafael Nadal will lock horns with his compatriot and World No. 6 David Ferrer for a place in the final of the 2012 ATP Rome Masters.
On Friday, Nadal played beautifully to beat Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic in straight sets with a 6-4 7-5 scoreline and stormed into the semi-final of this ATP Masters Event. His opponent, David Ferrer also registered an easy victory over Frenchman Richard Gasquet in straight sets with 7-6 6-3 scoreline to come this far in the tournament. Both contenders have been looking in some good form in this tournament. Thus, both must be feeling highly confident going into this battle.
Last week Rafael Nadal lost in Madrid Masters to Fernando Verdasco and consequently dropped to No. 3 position in the ATP Rankings. Well, a title win here in Rome can easily reinstate him to No. 2 position and the way Nadal has been playing in this tournament – it is apparent that he is very much aware about this important fact. Over the years Nadal has asserted his stand that he sets different goals for himself except the Rankings, but the way he was outplayed last season by Djokovic – these rankings have become crucial for him to get that psychological advantage over others. Nadal has claimed two titles in this season so far in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona and has a decent 28-4 win-loss record.
Nadal’s opponent David Ferrer belongs to the category of those defiant contenders, who are not blessed with any special weapon, but they have to earn everything by putting in 100% - every-time they hit the court. Ferrer is one tricky opponent on red-soil. Earlier this season, he became the first player to win three titles – by winning in Auckland, Buenos Aires and Acapulco. Ferrer has a very good 30-6 win-loss record this season so far and he is gunning for his 15th career title.
Both contenders are well aware about each other’s weaknesses and strengths. These Davis-Cup mates have squared off against each other on eighteen occasions and Nadal apparently leads the head-to-head with 14-4. Last time they met a few days ago in Barcelona final, where Nadal overpowered his compatriot in straight sets. Ferrer must be looking forward to avenge that loss, but amidst present state of affairs, he needs to play out of his skin to stop Nadal.
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