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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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11/13/2005 | 08:59 PM
A great display of mental strength.
Perhaps you can look forward to adding a new title to your resume of superlatives, "comeback player of the year".
Winning titles in both tournaments after injury, after your foot injury earlier this year and now, wil
11/13/2005 | 08:58 PM
Great Roger!
You are the best!
Good Luck!
11/13/2005 | 08:39 PM
You're awesome! End of story. :-)
11/13/2005 | 08:31 PM
You look good in black! Even the commentators on ESPN2 like the way your ankkle brace matched your whole outfit! I am so glad you are back. I am proud to be your fan and i am so gald you tried your hardest last night to beat Nalbandian!!!!!!!!!1Loveyou!!!
11/13/2005 | 08:27 PM
Hey rogi!

I sas your match at midnight in the US. I was a bit worried during the third set but then you upgraded your game and cremed Nalbandian. Im so glad you won. Maybe that was a good thing that it was a long match so you could adjust to the faster
11/13/2005 | 08:08 PM
And that's the name of the game Roger!!!
I have said it many times but I have to repeat it again: I am proud to be your fan. You are awesome!!!
11/13/2005 | 07:46 PM
Hey Mann, what a difficult match to play and watch, but as usual you did great, I have to admit that I thought you were going to lose, but I kept watching and after you broke Nalbandian back in the third, I knew you were going to win.

I think it was a
11/13/2005 | 07:42 PM
Congratulations Roger! You are the best!

Shanghai is yours!!

Dennis
11/13/2005 | 07:37 PM
You are the Best around (and ever) congratulation in your victory against David.
11/13/2005 | 07:18 PM
wow..thats great..congrats roger on an amazing game..good luck in the rest of the tournament..we're all cheering you on