ROME: Rafa Nadal made short work of his great rival Roger Federer to win the Italian Open, his sixth trophy of the year, 6-1 6-3 on Sunday.

The crowd sitting in the sunshine at Rome's Foro Italico watched Nadal race to victory in 69 minutes on the red clay.

The Spaniard, back in his best form after last year's long injury layoff, spent less time on court than Serena Williams who won her fourth consecutive tour title when she thrashed former world number one Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-3 to take the women's title earlier on Sunday.
               
Nadal, seeded fifth, dominated the first set, winning 20 of 25 points at one stage, as the Swiss second seed produced a string of unforced errors.
               
Federer raised his game in the second set, breaking a nine-game losing streak to go 1-3, but Nadal was in no mood to slow down. Despite being broken as he served for the match at 5-1, Nadal went on to complete his 36th win in 38 matches this year.
               
"It's a very important day, a very happy day for me after a difficult year last year," Nadal, speaking in Italian, told the crowd after the trophy presentation.
               
Nadal, 11 times a grand-slam winner, was sidelined for seven months with a knee problem and said he was delighted to be back in form.

(Agencies)

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