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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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11/14/2005 | 07:51 PM
Congrats !!!

Glad to see u winning the match after a return from foot injury.
11/14/2005 | 07:51 PM
Congrats !!!

Glad to see u winning the match after return from foot injury.
11/14/2005 | 07:40 PM
Let's seal the year with a win at Shanghai!

You Rock!

California, USA
11/14/2005 | 06:53 PM

You really are great. No doubt that you will make it.


Your the man

11/14/2005 | 06:45 PM

you can win the title !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
11/14/2005 | 06:37 PM
Well done Roger.
Love Vicky xx
11/14/2005 | 05:35 PM
Good match Rogelio,you'll be better,in the next matches,we all trust in you,do your best and take care of your injury.
11/14/2005 | 05:34 PM
Wow! Congratulations Roger!!! It's so good to have you back!!!! Good luck!
11/14/2005 | 05:25 PM
cangratulations rogi!!!!

we know, you will win the tournament too !!!

love GiGi
11/14/2005 | 05:18 PM
You're the best.Before you play your first match I could't sleep well but after your win I sleep like a baby.I hope that you will show us your best tennis against ljubicic GOOD LUCK.
MASTERS CUP is waiting you for 3rd time.
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