Moya turns out the lights on Nalbandian

It was not sweet but for the frustrated David Nalbandian it was mercifully short, and at least the sun finally smiled on the Rome Masters after a week of rain delays.

Carlos Moya's triumph in the final, 6-3, 6-3, 6-1, after one hour and 43 minutes, was so comprehensive that Nalbandian's errors - netted drop-shots and half-volleys, drives long or wide - became embarrassing and eventually prompted derisive whistles from spectators not noted for their sympathy.

At 4-0, 15-15 in the third set, Moya put his racket behind his back and improvised a winning shot between his legs. "He could have hit that shot with his hand or with anything," Nalbandian said. "Whatever he hit the ball with it was going to be in. He had all the lights on today."

Moya has rarely looked so confident since winning the French Open in 1998, and with injuries, illness or a lack of match practice affecting so many leading players, the former world No 1 from Majorca will go to Paris as one of the favourites.

"I've played solid all week," Moya said, "The only match I had trouble with was [in the third round] against [Ivo] Karlovic, because he doesn't give you any rhythm. The conditions were not easy. I was coming here a few days at nine o'clock in the morning and leaving at 11 o'clock at night. But I was very focused and everything was perfect."

Nalbandian has reason to believe he has the talent and ambition to be the world No 1 himself one day, but so far he has met with disappointment at the conclusion of important tournaments. His straight sets defeat by Lleyton Hewitt in the 2002 Wimbledon final was a memorable example, and the energy-draining scheduling caught up with him in the semi-finals at the US Open last year, when he lost to Andy Roddick, the eventual champion, after leading the American by two sets to love.

Yesterday, Nalbandian admitted that he was tired after playing well in difficult conditions en route to the final, and that Moya's expertise and confidence was too much for him to deal with.

"He played really good, and I couldn't do my best," the Argentinian said. "In the big moments he served very well and hit a forehand winner. He played unbelievable points. He played very near to the baseline, so it was not easy for me to come to the net."

Nalbandian's game began to unravel after he tried to be too clever and netted a backhand drop-shot for 1-2, 0-40, in the opening set. He then missed a backhand volley on break point, and Moya went on to complete a run of 10 points in a row.

After breaking in the opening game of the second set, Moya's concentration did not waver. Broken again for 1-4, Nalbandian salvaged some pride by recovering a break in the next game, only to lose his serve at 3-5. Moya pounded the clay without fear of reprisal in the third set, Nalbandian compounding his discomfort by double-faulting to 0-4.

Moya dedicated his victory to his compatriots, Rafael Nadal and Fernando Vicente, who are recovering from injuries.

Another of Moya's countrymen, Juan Carlos Ferrero, the French Open champion, who has recently recovered from chicken pox, yesterday pulled out of this week's Hamburg Masters after damaging a rib in a fall in practice.

This is likely to result in Lleyton Hewitt's promotion to a seeding, in which case he will not play Britain's Tim Henman, the fifth seed, in the first round. Henman has lost all seven of his matches against Hewitt.

Ferrero is one of 13 players to have withdrawn from the Hamburg event in what is proving to be a sorry season for the injury-hit sport.

Suggested Topics
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
i100... and no one notices
Arts and Entertainment
Friends reunited: Julian Ovenden, Richard Cant and Matt Bardock in rehearsals for the Donmar revival of 'My Night
with Reg'
theatrePoignancy of Kevin Elyot's play being revived just after his death
Caption competition
Caption competition
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor