(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
ROME (AP) Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal will renew their rivalry in the Italian Open final Sunday - exactly a week before the French Open starts.
In Saturday's semifinals at the Foro Italico, Federer held off a stiff challenge from Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (5), 6-4. Six-time Rome champion Nadal defeated sixth-seeded Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4, a day after Berdych rallied to beat top-ranked Novak Djokovic.
It will mark Nadal's eighth consecutive final since his return earlier this year from a seven-month layoff because of a left knee injury. As for Federer, who recently returned from a seven-week break from the circuit, it will be his first final of the year.