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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The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).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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11/25/2005 | 04:36 AM
Dear Roger,
You're very lucky to have so many fans to support you. A great success comes after many failures. Don't be discouraged by failure.
Continue to be strong and know we always be with you!
11/25/2005 | 02:03 AM
nice try. you are always going to be number 1 to me
11/25/2005 | 12:41 AM
Dear Roger,

never mind the records, you are the Best!! It was a great year, for you and all your fans. You've shown that you are a good human being and that is just that we all like in you. Have a nice time in South Africa, give your body a good rest a
11/24/2005 | 07:03 PM

It's been an amazing year no matter what. YESSSS, i like the saying one of the fans put. it's more important that you can actually stand up after being knocked down. I believe that you've already proved that (4 - 81). That's incredible!!! A
11/24/2005 | 11:34 AM
kikou Roger! never mind if David Nalbandian earned the trophy this time in Shanghai!! at least you've played well inspite of your injury and you did not let down all your fans incl. me in Shanghai. You continue to play and did not back out like the rest
11/24/2005 | 10:25 AM
Thank you for playing in the TMC which was really above the call of duty, but your presence made it a great tournament.
You are the greatest player I have ever seen, so best wishes for 2006, come back strong, and have a splendd holiday.
You are the best
11/24/2005 | 06:02 AM
Even in defeat you're still the best man! Who else would compete under your circumstances with so much on the line? Yet with one week to practice due to injury, you played anyway. Perhaps in defeat, more than in any of your victories, you showed everyone
11/23/2005 | 11:57 PM
Dear Roger: Sorry to post the second consecutive comment, but i have to say that watching the game against Nalbandian made me realize how huge is your heart, you're a true champion, coming back from a 0-4 in the fifth set with no legs is an amazing thing
11/23/2005 | 11:45 PM
Hey Roger you're the greatest , David is not better than you and everyone knows that.
Good Luck in Roland Garros and Wimbledon, i know those are the trophys you want to get the most.
11/23/2005 | 07:46 PM
Dear roger,

i just had to write again like so many others have, i didn't see the award part of the match as the tv channel couldn't show it but i have read the articles about it on the web site and seen the pictures like i said in my first email you ar
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