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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The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).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 | 06:10 PM
Absolutely devasted you lost Roger but know you will be back in 2006 playing fantastic tennis. Have a lovely holiday and I can't wait till the new year to see you play again.Watch Nalbandian though he looks back to his best.
11/22/2005 | 06:03 PM
emm, I just cannot understand this game.
Anyway, rogi, you saved this TMC. Just take some good rest now :)
11/22/2005 | 05:50 PM
Roger...

Is unbelievable what you have achieved this year!!!!! con gratulation to a fantastic season!!! you are the man!!!!!!!!

don't worry about the loss... destiny want it another way... that's life...
you were injured, long time on crutches, you
11/22/2005 | 05:06 PM
Hi Federer, it was a very enjoyable game, felt a bit heartache when you dropped points during the last tiebreak. The loss will never affect our greate player, we'll keep supporting you. Waiting to see a fresh Roger in 2006 !
11/22/2005 | 04:22 PM
Dear Roger....what a game....unfortunately we lost...you are still #1 and the best...We will be waiting and supporting you in 2006 which we are sure will be a great year...enjoy the holidays with Mirka and family...take care of your self...blessings to al
11/22/2005 | 04:10 PM
Roger, Sometimes we take your wins for granted. I was very surprised to hear you lost. What a great year! Enjoys your holidays. You have lots to be very happy about.
11/22/2005 | 02:34 PM
Congratulations Roger on your fantastic year. You lose so infrequently sometimes it is hard to digest. But you played a great tournament. I watched all your matches here in Montreal, on tape delay. You still are the greatest shot maker, and a true gen
11/22/2005 | 02:33 PM
Congratulations Roger on your fantastic year. You lose so infrequently sometimes it is hard to digest. But you played a great tournament. I watched all your matches here in Montreal, on tape delay. You still are the greatest shot maker, and a true gen
11/22/2005 | 02:05 PM
I JUST WANT TO TELL YOU THAT,EVEN IF YOU LOST,YOU SHOWED ME HOW GREAT CAN BE THE WILL TO WIN OF A MAN...you did smth i will never forget..
KEEP FIGHTING ROGER!
11/22/2005 | 01:56 PM
I came back yesterday from Shanghai where I went for supporting you.
You have a big heart man, and I think that your fans now love you more than before.
You did something unbelievable.
Doesn't matter if you didn't win Roger, because you're still the MA