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Roger plays in Shanghai - and wins

13.11.2005 | Tennis

«This is one of the most important matches of my career. I mean, a few weeks ago I needed crutches and now I'm already back out there and winning.» For much of his match against David Nalbandian, Roger looked like a man who had not played in six weeks. But at the most important time, he looked like Roger Federer.

The world No. 1 and two-time defending champion rallied from a break down in the decisive set to beat the Argentine Nalbandian, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, on Sunday in the opening match of the season-ending Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai.

The top seed at the $4.45 million indoor event, Roger extended his winning streak to 32 matches since a loss to Rafael Nadal in the French Open semifinals. He improved to 78-3 this year and could tie John McEnroe's single-season winning percentage record, set during an 82-3 campaign in 1984, were he to win his final two Red Group matches, the semifinal and the final.

Roger had missed six weeks of action since injuring his right ankle in practice. He wore a black brace on the ankle in this one, his first match since winning his 11th title of the year at Bangkok on October 2.

After winning the final four games of the second set, Nalbandian broke Roger for a 3-1 lead in the third. The eighth-seeded Argentine had a 40-30 lead on his serve in the fifth game before Roger broke back, held, broke again and held for a 5-3 lead. Nalbandian held in the ninth game before Roger closed out the match on serve to improve to 10-0 in round-robin matches in this event, where he is 14-1 overall.

Nalbandian, who was returning to the event after a one-year absence, was the last player to enter the draw, taking the place of American Andy Roddick, who withdrew on Wednesday with a back injury. Australian Lleyton Hewitt, who won this event between 2001-02, also dropped out due to the upcoming birth of his first child.

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11/15/2005 | 04:50 AM
come on roger ....
you the man ...
good luck for the rest of the match
11/15/2005 | 01:20 AM
Well donne Roger!!!!
I hope that your healthy is in the best conditions.
All our love and support
11/15/2005 | 12:00 AM
Well done bro!..Actually i didn't watch the game and i'm afraid that we will lose all the tournament here in Greece...neither the cample tv,neither eurosport show it....I can't believe how is that happening!..Anyway,i hope you feel well our "great" Rogi w
11/14/2005 | 11:51 PM
Dear Roger
I'm so glad you have recovered. I hope that you'll defend your title and this will be memorable for you.
Good luck to you today...You'll win!!

11/14/2005 | 10:24 PM
congrats Roger!!! superb job!!! good luck next round!!!
11/14/2005 | 08:59 PM
Eish what a blow to tennis fans, double withdrawal of Nadal and Agassi, the gold group is in shambles! Looks like a Federer vs Ljubicic match 2moro, and Ljubucic vs Federer final on Sunday.

So all you have to do is win 2moro, cos we know come final, u
11/14/2005 | 08:20 PM
You are magnifiscent. Your tough mentality and your superb tennis overcame your injury and the fact that you hadn´t played in a while. Always a pleasure to watch you.
11/14/2005 | 08:06 PM
Great, really and simply great..i missed you and now i'm returning to hope in a big tournment, because there's the only Roger Federer!
11/14/2005 | 07:53 PM

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S!
We missed you so much for the past 7 weeks. We have been praying for you to get fit & well. Our prayer is fulfilled , it's great to see you back & eventually WON!

I know you'll get another hat-trick. DO I
11/14/2005 | 07:53 PM
felicitaciones roger!!!!!! me levante a las 2 de la mañana para verte jugar porque a esa hora lo pasaban aca, me dio mucha alegria verte jugar otra vez despues de tu operacion. espero que sigas mejorando con el transcurso de los partidos y llegues a la fi
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