ROME: Third-seed Rafael Nadal demolished Ernests Gulbis 6-4 3-6, 6-4 in the semi-finals of the ATP Rome Masters 1000.
Gulbis, who had previously ousted Roger Federer in the second round, put up a fight after going down in the first set but was unable to stop the Nadal-brigade Nadal, who is aiming for his fifth title here in six seasons, remains unbeaten on clay this season. Ferrer beats Verdasco The 13th seed David Ferrer defeated a seemingly exhausted Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-3 in an all-Spanish semi-final.
Ferrer came into this match on the back of four straight defeats to Verdasco but remained committed throughout the match to reach his first-ever Masters final. Verdasco, seeded sixth, started well and raced into a 5-1 lead but lost the next eight games in a row and his game worsened rapidly.
Having reached the final in Monte Carlo two weeks ago and won in Barcelona last week, he admitted he had succumbed to tiredness. “Up to 5-1, was playing well but it was more a case of him making many unforced errors,” he said. “After that I was feeling tired but it wasn’t since 5-1, it was since I woke up today.”