London, England (SportsNetwork.com) - Rafael Nadal continued his mastery of Roger Federer and reached the championship match of the ATP World Tour Finals for the second time.
The top-seeded Nadal battled back from an early break and claimed a 7-5, 6-3 victory over his long-time rival in the first semifinal on Sunday from the O2 Arena.
Nadal will try to win the season-ending tournament for the first time in his career on Monday against the victor of Sunday's second semifinal between Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka.
The Spaniard is unbeaten this week, having captured the Group A portion of the round robin with a perfect 3-0 mark, and on Monday will try for his 11th title of the 2013 season. He has already clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking, but hasn't won a tournament since capturing the U.S. Open crown in September.
After beating Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, Nadal lost to the Serb in the Beijing final and fell in the semifinals of Masters events at Shanghai and Paris.
Federer, meanwhile, closed a disappointing 2013 campaign with just one title, his fewest for a season since he also won once in 2001. He is a six-time winner of this season-ending event, including a victory over Nadal in the 2010 final.
Nadal, who also lost to Federer in the round robin of this event two years ago, saved three break points in the sixth game of the match and broke Federer on his first chance for a 5-4 lead.
Federer, though, broke right back, but was unable to keep the momentum. Nadal came through with a second break for a 6-5 lead and held at love to close it out.
Nadal broke again for a 3-2 edge in the second set and never relinquished the advantage. He didn't face a break point in the set and broke again to finish the match, which ended after just 80 minutes when a Federer backhand approach landed long.
Federer committed 32 unforced errors to just 14 for Nadal, who converted each of the four break-point opportunities he had against the Swiss star's serve.
Nadal improved to 22-10 lifetime against Federer, including 4-0 this year. However, this was Nadal's first win against Federer on an indoor hard court.
On Monday, Nadal will try for his 61st career title. He is 22-16 lifetime against Djokovic and 11-0 versus Wawrinka.