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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The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).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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11/21/2005 | 10:50 PM
Hi Rogi!!!
I would lie if I said I wasn't sad when I heard you hadn't won!!! But I also realised that we (your fans) are very spoilt!!! When you win, we almost seem to take it for granted, even if we know that every match is different and hard!!! When yo
11/21/2005 | 10:01 PM
Roger,

I'm looking forward to 2006 and the punishment you're gonna give to all your nay-sayers. Every year is getting better and I have all the confidence in the world you will achieve the all time best status surpassing everyone. Keep working hard and
11/21/2005 | 09:58 PM
Hey Roger,

It was a victorious loss since you've just come back after injury. Try again next year and I believe you can do even better.
11/21/2005 | 09:56 PM
Roger,

I am sorry you lost the Masters final . . . it would have been nice to tie the season winning percentage record of McEnroe. But it does not matter . . . you are still the best for reasons I will not go into presently. I enjoy watching you play
11/21/2005 | 09:54 PM
Dear Roger,
You had an extraordinary year and you have given many people hours of enjoyment watching you play. I only hope you fully recover from your injury and are at the Australian Open. Personally I don't believe the round-robin format for the yea
11/21/2005 | 09:38 PM
Caro Roger,questa volta voglio scriverti in italiano,perchè certe cose mi sono difficili da tradurre in inglese....Sono dispiaciutissimo di ciò che è accaduto,sto male per questo e lo sarò per molto tempo...certo,non voglio dartene colpa,ci mancherebbe!!!
11/21/2005 | 09:27 PM
good tournament! You still the world nº1 and my nº1! good luck to 2006!
11/21/2005 | 08:48 PM
Now we truly know why u are voted Sportsman of the Year - even in defeat, you showed yourself to be a true champion, fighting back , never giving up; injured but not backing down; you inspire us ! Thank you !!!
I went to Shanghai for this tournament, and
11/21/2005 | 08:41 PM
Roger, I'm so sad that you were not able to win this one. You still played like a champ and those records will be there for you to break next year.
Thank you for an amazing year of tennis. You truly are a champion in every way, and I can't wait to se
11/21/2005 | 08:03 PM
Congratulations Roger! Although you´ve lost the Master´s Cup, you are the number one, and nobody is able to contest this! !!
You are not only a great tennis player, but also a wonderful person because you can recognize the competence of your opponents.