ROME Ė Swiss No. 2 seed Roger Federer handily won his Italian Open semifinal showdown on Saturday night against countryman Stanislas Wawrinka, cruising to a 6-4, 6-2 victory in less than an hour.
Federer had the mental edge coming into the contest on center court at the Foro Italico, having won 15 of their previous 17 matches, and he leveraged that history to his advantage.
Wawrinka, who was far from the level he displayed in knocking off Spanish seven-time champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets on Friday, stayed even early in the match but his level plummeted after being broken for the second time late in the first set and Federer took full advantage.
The No. 8 seed, who said the win over Nadal was a big confidence-booster, was not even competitive in the second set, winning just 10 of the 35 points played.
The Swiss 17-time Grand Slam champion will be seeking his fourth title of the season and first-ever winnerís trophy in Rome when he squares off Sunday afternoon against Serbian top seed and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who defeated Spainís David Ferrer 6-4, 6-4 in Saturdayís first semifinal.
Federer, a three-time finalist, and three-time champion Djokovic have been top challengers at the Italian Open for more than a decade, but Sunday will be the first Rome final between these two all-time greats.
Federer leads the career head-to-head by a narrow margin of 20-18.
In Italian Open womenís action Saturday, Russian No. 3 seed Maria Sharapova and Spanish No. 10 seed Carla Suarez Navarro advanced to the final with semifinal victories over Russian qualifier Daria Gavrilova and second-seeded Romanian Simona Halep, respectively.