Nadal to face Federer at finals

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Britain's Andy Murray during their singles semi-final...

Spain's Rafael Nadal returns the ball to Britain's Andy Murray during their singles semi-final match at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, Nov. 27, 2010. (REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett)

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, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

London, England - Top-seeded Spaniard Rafael Nadal needed a third-set tiebreak, while second-seeded Swiss Roger Federer staged a second- set rally to advance to the championship at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The two superstars are set to meet for the 22nd time in their illustrious careers after Nadal's 7-6 (7-5), 3-6, 7-6 (8-6) victory over hometown favorite Andy Murray and Federer's 6-1, 6-4 win over Novak Djokovic.

Out of the 21 meetings, 17 have been for a title, and Nadal is 12-5 in those bouts. The 2010 French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open champ is 14-7 lifetime against Federer, including six of the last seven meetings and the lone matchup this year.

While this is Nadal's first appearance in the final here, Federer is a four- time champion and five-time finalist, with his last title here coming in 2007. Nadal is going for his eighth tournament win of the year and 44th of his career, while Federer is trying for his fifth of 2010 and 66th overall.

The Spaniard reached his first final here after beating Murray, to whom Nadal had lost four of the last five times on a hard surface.

Nadal was able to win despite Murray's 22 aces to his five. Murray actually captured five more points overall than Nadal, who was able to win both tiebreakers to capture the match in 3 hours, 11 minutes.

Federer, meanwhile, trailed in the second set by three games before storming back to win six of seven to capture the match. He needed nearly two hours less time than Nadal because he faced only one break point, which was subsequently saved.

Conversely, Federer recorded seven breaks of serve to win going away.

Regardless of Sunday's final result, Nadal will finish the year with the No. 1 ranking for the second time in three years.


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