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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The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).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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11/23/2005 | 05:47 AM
you still get my unwavering support!!!!! ;-)
11/23/2005 | 05:42 AM
hi RF,

your match was the best ever, despite of your injury, you still manage to fight, the last set in shanghai was the best, you have manage to fight nalbadian when you're already 4 set down, you are so unbelievable. your every new game amaze me.

11/23/2005 | 04:47 AM
Thank you Roger, for a fantastic year of tennis. It has been such a pleasure to watch you play. Even when not at your peak of health you give it your all. Can't wait for next year! Happy holidays!
11/23/2005 | 04:33 AM
Dear Roger,
I've never prayed so hard for you to win. I was literally on my knees while watching the Masters Final live on TV. You might have lost the match but you'll never cease to win our hearts. You fought hard all the way! I hope you'll fully recove
11/23/2005 | 01:52 AM
Dear Roger,

I am so sorry that you lost. You played your best and that's all that matters. I am praying for you and your upcoming tennis season! I know you'll be in your best form once the Australian Open rolls around.

God Bless,
11/22/2005 | 08:28 PM
you didn't lose, but david won.
better be in shape for aus open.

11/22/2005 | 07:18 PM


i feel really realy sorry that u coudnt win , bu i know the nest year you will win it and that you will be in better shape.

I wish you only the best always

11/22/2005 | 07:17 PM

What a match... unfortunately you couldn't win the last one. But you're still the number one in the world!

Have a nice holiday in beautiful South Africa, and take your time to get your ankle completely cured.

11/22/2005 | 07:09 PM
It was a sad moment for us when you lost that game but the way you played despite of your injury, the whole world saw the true CHAMPION and you proved to the world that you are the BEST No.1 tennis player and that cheers us up and made us very proud of yo
11/22/2005 | 06:55 PM
Hello Roger
Never mind the record, never mind the lost, never mind Shanghai.
I love your tennis no matter what, you are my best.
Enjoy your holiday and rest well. See you winning again in 2006.
With love
your fan