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Game, Set, Match Roger!

04.04.2005 | Tennis

Things looked so bleak for Roger in the third set of Sunday's Nasdaq-100 Open final that he wound up and spiked his racket into the middle of the court after a miss-hit. He glared with annoyance at over-enthusiastic fans before serving. He screamed, barked, threw his hands into the air, shook his head.

 

But slightly more than an hour after having lost two sets and fallen behind 4-1 in the third, Roger tossed his racket again -- only this time more gently. After Spaniard Rafael Nadal, the world's 31st-ranked player, hit a ball into the net to secure Roger's stunning comeback victory at 2-6, 6-7 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 6-1, the relieved champion delightedly pitched his racket to a fan in the stands.

 

Roger extended his winning streaks in matches to 22 and finals to 18, but none tested him quite like this three-hour, 42-minute marathon. Usually as precise as a computer, Roger struggled to adapt to a crafty left-hander and windy conditions, and his festering frustration proved another obstacle. He committed 74 unforced errors, 20 more than Nadal, and double-faulted nine times.

 

"I knew," Roger said, "the danger of Nadal today."

 
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09/14/2005 | 06:45 AM
has anyone taped this event?