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Nadal defends his crown

23.04.2006 | Tennis

Roger was not able to defeat Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters final, losing a tough fight 2-6 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 6-7 (5-7).

 

The Spanish second seed took the first set after racing to a 5-1 lead, but Roger found his form in the second. Nadal still broke him to love in the seventh game before his nerve wobbled, allowing the Swiss star to break back for 5-5 and then win the tiebreaker. But Nadal showed why he is the world's best on clay in the third set, then edged a tense fourth to seal victory.

 

Roger looked to have extended an epic final into a fifth set when he took a 3-0 lead in the second tiebreaker. But the 19-year-old Spaniard fought back as the shadows lengthened on court at the Monte Carlo Country Club. A forehand winner on his first match point finally sealed victory and his 14th career title after three hours and 49 minutes of thrilling tennis.

 

    

"It was a very unbelievable day for me," said Nadal. "It's special to begin the clay season like this.

Beating Roger in the final is even more special, it's great."

 

Roger, who had never progressed past the quarter-finals in Monaco before this year, admitted: "Rafael played a great match, it was tough to lose." Nadal had also inflicted the world number one's only other defeat of 2006, beating him in the final of the hardcourt Dubai Open on 4 March.

 

Roger also lost to Nadal in the semi-finals of last year's French Open, the only grand slam tournament he has yet to win. "I played a smarter match today than last year's Paris semi-final," Roger added. "I have moved closer to him on clay and that's very important."

 

Nadal now has a 4-1 record against the Swiss world number one, and has chalked up a remarkable 42 successive wins on clay. The left-hander is third on the all-time list behind Guillermo Vilas (53) and Bjorn Borg (46).   

 
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05/08/2006 | 10:29 AM
As an Olympian off limits of 1000 characters, I would like to repeat Hera’s thoughts with some supplements and, less English faults, I hope..

Sorry for remarking too late Jude’s identification Nadal to Nemesis (24.04.2006)
Thanks to site for making
05/04/2006 | 06:25 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you lose again, especially to Nadal again. I don't know what to say. But you are the best!
I admit that Nadal is a excellent player, but he's not the perfect one, he’s not the best unless there had never been a player named Roger F
05/04/2006 | 06:11 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you lose again,especially to Nadal again.I don't know what to say.But you are the best!
I admit that Nadal is a excellent player,but he's not the perfect one,he's not the best unless there had never been a player named Roger Federe
05/04/2006 | 06:07 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you lose again,especially to Nadal again.I don't know what to say.But you are the best!
I admit that Nadal is a excellent player,but he's not the perfect one,he's not the best unless there had never been a player named Roger Federe
05/04/2006 | 12:18 AM
In response to Haukaisin's comments:

You're absolutely right in saying that things might be different if Blake played Nadal on clay.

I don't think my comments were irrelevant, though, because the idea of Federer being more physical still stands.
05/03/2006 | 10:09 AM
Totally agree with Raz1024 from US re: trying the Blake strategy vs Nadal. Roger does indulge too much in terms of his precise ground strokes. On hard courts and grass it's not so much of an issue -- although Nadal took him in Qatar too! -- but on clay
05/03/2006 | 09:37 AM
god when i found out i was so sad...then when i told my friend who likes nadal..she was so super happy...but hey, at least i made someone happy right?when i told one of my best friends, she just started laughing..and she was like' yes!!!!" she always like
05/02/2006 | 07:42 PM
Hi Roger

I agree with all the others who say you are getting closer to Nadal.....you are and you will get there....just "vasbyt" as we say in South Africa....! Believe in yourself and just do it!

All best wishes for Rome
Shell
05/02/2006 | 01:09 PM
don't feel pressured when your playing nadal...
your the best...
05/02/2006 | 12:07 PM
Your playing technique is one of a kind. Your a remarkable tennis player Roger.
BUT

do you have what it takes to beat the Spaniard who is only 19 and has a 4-1 lead on you. We have faith but do you?
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