Roger Federer set to play ‘special’ final match of career on Friday with Rafael Nadal
Roger Federer will be in action on Friday when he takes on Rafael Nadal at the Italian Open final.
The 33-year-old Dutchman is through to the second semi-final of the year after a 5-7, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5) loss to Andy Murray at the Australian Open.
Federer, who has won eight titles in 2017, will now prepare for the Davis Cup final in two weeks time.
This Sunday, he will play his first match of 2018 against David Goffin at the ATP Finals in Indian Wells, Brazil.
“I’m looking forward to being back in Miami next week and to playing against Rafa,” said Federer.
“He’s a great player with a great serve and a great imagination with his shots. I know I can take him to the next level.”
Federer, a five-time champion, is coming off a 5-2, 6-4, 6-2 loss to Nadal in the US Open semi-finals. He will play a semi-final at the ATP Finals a week out in Indian Wells.
The top seed has lost just four times on grass since his defeat in the French Open, where he beat the Spaniard in straight sets. He is looking to extend his record of matches won on clay to 60, which includes winning 25 titles in all.
The Australian, meanwhile, is playing in the final of the Australian Open men’s singles, where he is attempting to become the first man to reach three consecutive Australian Open finals.
The match begins at 10.50am ET.
Nadal has not been the same since suffering the first of seven losses in succession in the fourth set of his US Open semifinal against Kei Nishikori.
He has won 12 from 13 encounters since, but faces a huge task against Federer.
“I did what I could out there but I was