Rafael Nadal is unbeaten versus Federer in the 2 times that they have met on clay. The last was the recent Monte Carlo match up. Nadal has also been triumphant the last 3 encounters versus Federer.
Nadal has stakes in the match apart from the rivalry with Federer too.
As CNN reports:
If Nadal beats the world number one on Sunday he will equal Guillermo Vilas’s all-time record of 53 consecutive wins on clay, set in 1977.
Federer has a lot at stake as well. He virtually has to win this one in the Rome Masters final if he wants to start making the necessary statements in the Federer-Nadal rivalry. Nadal’s time to make statements in hard courts will come in later. Federer will remain dominant versus Nadal on grass courts in all probability, if and when they do meet up on the surface. Federer would not like to be remembered second to Nadal on clay though and it is time he did some thing about it.
Forget that Federer was stretched to a tie break in the third versus Nalbandian. Forget that Nadal has been the guy in better form.
This one promises to be another cracker.