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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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05/01/2006 | 07:05 PM
Dear Roger

I'm so sorry that you didn't win in Monte Carlo.You were so close.You actually made yours points and his points,too.It was very nice that you had 21 winners more than him but those 78 unforced error were too much! In the last tiebreak the sc
05/01/2006 | 06:56 PM
Dear Roger

I'm so sorry that you didn't win in Monte Carlo.You were so close.You actually made yours points and his points,too.It was very nice that you had 21 winners more than him but those 78 unforced error were too much! In the last tiebreak the sc
05/01/2006 | 06:49 PM
Dear Roger

I'm so sorry that you didn't win in Monte Carlo.You were so close.You actually made yours points and his points,too.It was very nice that you had 21 winners more than him but those 78 unforced error were too much! In the last tiebreak the sc
05/01/2006 | 05:01 PM
it's all in the head,, good luck next time
05/01/2006 | 07:46 AM
Hi iondie...thanks for such an encouraging and remarkable comment.
Fan4life
04/30/2006 | 08:13 PM
What a delight it has been watching your rise to success. Thank you for so many spectacular tennis matches. I am a die-hard Federer fan and will always be. On to the business of Nadal… Please know this… our lost can create our greatest victories because
04/30/2006 | 03:58 PM
dog ur a faliure u gotta atack nadal at the net on clay for god sakes id make a better pro than u
04/30/2006 | 11:29 AM
It's only a matter of time before you beat him. Remember how Hewitt and Agassi used to beat you? Now you keep beating them. I know that once you figure Rafa out ( and I think you're close) then you'll correct your record and reverse the trend.
04/29/2006 | 05:55 PM
Hi roger,

i have to say when i watched some of the high lights of the match i don't if it's me but you seem to let Nadel get to you i never see that with any other player you go up against yes of course he's a very good player and it's hard not to let
04/29/2006 | 02:10 PM
Dear Roger
I am so sorry when you lost to Nadal on claycourt. Nadal's a young and strong man, special talent on claycourt,he runs very quickly on claycourt, that's one result to get the ball easily. He uses his body too much to win the match. I
Page 2 | 40