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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 | 07:46 AM
Wow, Roger ! CONGRATS !!!!

I wasn't able to see you playing (they didn't show the match, but I will see the next matches, that's for sure). It's such a sweet feeling knowing that you won, giving the circumstances.

So I can't say anything else than i
11/14/2005 | 06:16 AM
Congrats Roger on the win. Tough playing after a long absence. But once you get the feel and confidence, I'm sure you'll show us what we know you're capable of at your best!

Stay healthy and focused. Good luck!

11/14/2005 | 04:37 AM
Congrats Roger!!! We're all so proud of you!!
11/14/2005 | 04:34 AM
Even what you've gone through prior to this tourney; I really never doubted you could win against David.....I truly enjoyed watching your game.

Best of luck!
11/14/2005 | 04:16 AM
Dear Roger,

Congratulations--You did it again! Truly a remarkable win after your ankle injury. I pray that you continue your winning ways and go all the way to win this tournament. You are the best!

God bless you!

11/14/2005 | 03:43 AM
I was very worried about your health in the beginning and was watching your match with all my family members around cheering you. And, you displayed how you are the world no. 1! We were very impressed by your very high quality of play. All the bery best
11/14/2005 | 03:29 AM
Excellent Roger, you did it again. I am very happy of your victory; you showed again that you are the world Number ONE.

CONGRATULATIONS, and go on!!!!!!!!. All my positive energy is with you !!!!!!!!

11/14/2005 | 03:14 AM
Dear Roger, congratulations!!! Great to heard you won again,that's a good start to you.We will support you forever...God bless you~~
11/14/2005 | 01:44 AM
Congratulations !!!!!

and I hope you'll be make the miracle in SHANGHAI

11/14/2005 | 01:24 AM
i am soo happy for you victory in shangai.remember we are trust in you and also remember you are the king. congratulations federer.