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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The Argentine, who would not have made the eight-man draw if four of the top five players had not withdrawn, ended Roger's 35-match winning streak with a come-from-behind 6-7 (4) 6-7 (11) 6-2 6-1 7-6 (3).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 | 06:54 AM
Roger, it was amazing how you made such a great come-back in the final set!! Unfortunately, Nalbandian just had that extra physical edge to keep him going. You did so well having had so much time off & being on crutches only weeks before! All the best for
11/22/2005 | 05:47 AM
it's ok,rogi,it's ok.
i don't care about the results or the record.you know all your fans just care about you!!tell us you are ok,the injury doesn't bother you anymore,please?
rogi,i just wanna tell you that you are the real master and the real champ.yo
11/22/2005 | 05:20 AM
My last comment was ..well...very formal.....so I'm writing another one...& this time ..not my Tennis-brain....but my heart shall speak,-
To tell u the truth .....u made me so proud that day......u know...i...as a player myself....believe that.......to f
11/22/2005 | 04:55 AM
Well Rog......sorry 2 b so late in commenting....u r a GENIUS.....takes u 2 mins to recover from the stroma of defeat(even when they r so few).........but it took me a looong time 2 recover from the shock........4 times this year u beat yourself.....becau
11/22/2005 | 04:26 AM
My ADORED Roger,
I'm very sorry you lost, but you have no idea how EXTREMELY proud I am of you!!!! It's incredible how far you where able to get when you are actually RECOVERING from your ankle injury!!!!!! You are with no doubt the GREATEST!! You NEVER
11/22/2005 | 03:56 AM
Hi Roger ,

Very sad to see you were not playing @ 100%, the injury kept you from hitting those power flat serves that we see in the fourth set @ US open final to neutralize DN consistency game. DN was relaxed when he saw spin and second serves only
11/22/2005 | 03:33 AM
Dear Roger: i can say only one thing about this defeat wich,by the way,broke my heart in a thousand pieces, you have proven to me and to everybody in the universe that you're a real number one and the best player of all times, you have a great heart 'cos
11/22/2005 | 03:32 AM
id like to swing that bandy argic fluke round the court wrap him up in the net and go and feel that the calls werent even right bad luck roger. well done. well done man its a game eh.
11/22/2005 | 03:21 AM
Howdie Roger. You´re a great player on grass, and I believe a true champion doesn´t need to measure his achievements based on past statistics (ex Mcenroe or Sampras). You have to live with this defeat, and admit than Nalbandian is an incredible player.

11/22/2005 | 02:56 AM
Hey Roger!

It's a pitty that you couldn't win the match, but hey you lost like a total champion, never giving up despite your recent injury and all, it's always a thrill to watch you play. You'll be back next year and you'll win it! Take care and enjoy