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Nalbandian defeats Roger in Masters final

20.11.2005 | Tennis

Roger's record-chasing run ended in a dramatic five-set defeat on Sunday to David Nalbandian in the Masters Cup final.


The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).


The world no. 1 rallied from 0-4 in the deciding set and was two points from victory serving at 6-5 and 30-0 before Nalbandian broke back to force a tiebreaker.


Nalbandian earned three championship points when Roger buried a backhand into the net to make it 6-3 in the tiebreaker after 4 hours, 33 minutes. He clinched it when Roger netted a forehand. He dropped to his back on the court.


He becomes the first Argentine to win a year-ending tournament since Guillermo Vilas won the 1974 Masters in Melbourne.


"It's been a fantastic year. Unfortunately I couldn't win the last one but this year will be a great memory for me," said Roger. "To be back after the injury - I'm happy I made it so far. I'm proud of that."


For the world no. 1, it was only the second defeat in four Masters Cup campaigns going back to the 2002 semi-final. He had been in line for the first year-ending hat-trick since Ivan Lendl in 1985-1987.


This defeat stops Roger one win short of equalling John McEnroe's 1984 record winning percentage of 96.5.

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11/22/2005 | 02:51 AM
Dearest Roger
I have experienced the same problem as Marsy where my email disappeared off the radar
Roger you are a true winner & hero in our minds & hearts--you not only played for yourself but for us the fans,spectators,tennis and of course TMC. Any l
11/22/2005 | 02:16 AM
Dear Roger,
You are human,not the god,so you cann't win all the matches.That's ok,everybody admire your attitude of being a tennis player,very professional,never give up though with injury and force drained,you showed that what a real champion should be.
11/22/2005 | 02:01 AM
roger you are a fucking ass hole and a bitch even some players but hi myou are gay dude yoiu can't beat nanlian that means that you are sweipling threw the rankings dude you suck
11/22/2005 | 01:36 AM
Hi Roger,

Congratulations to another outstanding year.
Your disappointment is understandable but what you have achieved in one year is greater than what many can only hope for in a lifetime or more.
Looking forward to yet another great 2006 and have
11/22/2005 | 01:34 AM
Dear Roger,

Though fate wasn't with you in this match, you demonstrated all the qualities of spirit, courage, and genius that have taken you to the top. Who else but Roger Federer could come back from a recent injury to nearly win against a well-prepa
11/22/2005 | 01:07 AM
Dearest Roger
I experienced the same problem as Marsy where my first email disappeared off the radar so will continue on
You are a true winner & hero in our minds and hearts-- what a role model.
Did I detect a little tear in Rochie's eyes?I think so.
11/22/2005 | 12:51 AM
Hallo, Roger.
I was very sad to see you lose the year end Master Cup. You made a tremendous effort in the final set, but lady luck was not on your side this time. Next year will hopefully be another banner year for you.
Von einer deutschen Verehrerin i
11/22/2005 | 12:29 AM
First of all I wanna say u: thank you, thanks for all you've given me in this year. Maybe I don't know what are u feeling now, but I can understand you, and also I want to say that I always learn something new and good un every match wich u play i
11/22/2005 | 12:28 AM
Dear Roger,

Have you ever thought about playing some clay court tournaments next year? Please, come to South America and Central America this year. You've got lot of fans here. And you could improve even more your game on clay courts. That would help y
11/22/2005 | 12:23 AM
Roger, just like you said, you were not fit or recovered to go the Masters. And I read in a interview that you didn't use the ankle protection in trainings. So please, next year, could you just use the protection EVERYTIME? For your own good. I don't want