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Nadal too hot to handle - Federer

TENNIS: Roger Federer admitted he had no answer to Rafael Nadal's masterclass after the Spaniard put him to the sword to win the Internazionali d'Italia in Rome.

Nadal, competing in his eighth final in a row since returning from a seven-month injury lay-off in February, raced to a crushing 6-1 6-3 win in one hour and nine minutes to claim his third straight title and sixth of 2013.

Federer accepted he could not live with his dominant opponent, saying: "It didn't go how I hoped and I was missing too many easy forehands and crucial points.

"He does an incredible job returning from the back of the court and it is hard because he covers the court so well. When Rafa is at his best he creates opportunities in rallies and dictates. It was difficult to change."

In the women's final, world number one Serena Williams was an equally emphatic winner as she dispatched Victoria Azarenka 6-1 6-3 to claim her fourth straight title – but still refused to get carried away by her French Open hopes.

VISCONTI WINS GIRO STAGE

CYCLING: Giovanni Visconti claimed his first stage win in the Giro d'Italia after digging deep to conquer the gruelling conditions that continue to blight this year's race.

The Movistar rider was part of an initial six-man breakaway group that pulled clear of the peloton with 82 kilometres remaining of the 145km stage out of Cesana Torines.

Visconti asserted his dominance as snow arrived to add more danger to an already-gruelling Alpine trek, the Italian eventually coming home in four hours 40 minutes and 52 seconds, 42 seconds clear of Carlos Betancur (Ag2R-La Mondiale).

Overall race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) came home 12 seconds further back. Heading into today's rest day, Nibali's lead in the general classification remains at 86 seconds over Cadel Evans (BMC).

Meanwhile, Conor Dunne, riding for the Iverk Produce Tipperary county team, outsmarted the professionals yesterday to claim only the second An Post Rás stage victory by a domestic county rider in four years.

Dunne outsprinted Michael Northey of the British-based Node4 Giordana team at the end of the opening stage of this year's Rás into Longford. The national U23 time trial champion also pulled on the first yellow jersey of race leader.

SANG-MOON TAKES TITLE

GOLF: Bae Sang-moon fought off playing partner Keegan Bradley to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship and his first-ever PGA Tour title by two shots last night. The 26-year-old from Daegu, shot a final-round one-under 69 to finish at 13 under.

Meanwhile, American Peter Uihlein shot four birdies on the back nine to win the Madeira Islands Open by two shots. Uihlein carded a final-round four-under-par 68 to finish on 15 under. Ireland's David Higgins finished carded a two-over-par score to finish on one under overall. Damien McGrane was a shot back with a last round of 73.


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