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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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Page 3 | 40
04/29/2006 | 02:02 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
04/29/2006 | 02:00 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
04/29/2006 | 01:59 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
04/29/2006 | 01:58 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
04/29/2006 | 01:57 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
04/29/2006 | 01:56 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
04/29/2006 | 01:55 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
04/29/2006 | 01:28 PM
It´s probably I am the unique spanish people to write here... I wanted that win Nadal, but I have to say that it was a very very exciting match: one of the best matchs in clay I never have seen. Congratulations, Roger and Rafa.
04/29/2006 | 03:16 AM
I totally agreed with HouKaiSin from Hong Kong. The way Nadal is playing will never give him a chance to win any other Grand slams tournament. Besides that Nadal doesn't have enough skillset to win if we were to compare with Roger.

Overall, Roger is t
04/29/2006 | 03:04 AM
Hi Roger,

You had played your best tennis in clay court season. I strongly believe that you are still one of the HOT favaourite for French Open.

Trust me. I still believe in you. We all in Malaysia will support you forever.

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