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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 | 05:16 PM
Well done Rog. Great comeback in the final set - what great effort especially coming from having the "worst injury" of your career.

Keep it going Rog. Good luck against Ljubicic on Tuesday.
11/14/2005 | 05:02 PM
11/14/2005 | 03:47 PM

Hope you tie the winning record of John
11/14/2005 | 03:42 PM
You're the best, no doubt about that..Even when you don't play at your form, you'd still win..That looks like the Roger Federer we all knew, the special one..Congrats, I'm so sure that you'd defend the TMC title for the 3rd time in a row and tie McEnroe r
11/14/2005 | 03:27 PM
Ok Roger, Lets rock n roll..... Great match
11/14/2005 | 03:07 PM
Congrats Roger!
Good luck on the rest of the matches, but we know you will win em all!
11/14/2005 | 02:41 PM
Hi Rogi!!
Well played Roger. You came back after six weeks and i think one would require his'her own time to get back the rythm which I hope you will soon get. You are already getting it back!!!
Good luck Roger!!!

11/14/2005 | 10:09 AM
Well done,Roger.I belief you can win the master cup!
11/14/2005 | 10:07 AM
i was wayching it live and i am so happy that you pulled through!!!! congrats!!!! it was understandable that you were off-key a bit but hope you win it third time around. i'm crossing my fingers!!!!!

11/14/2005 | 08:19 AM
Well done Roger!!! Congratulations!!!
Take care and keep going. So proud to be one of your fans. Good luck!!!
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