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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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04/28/2006 | 02:10 AM
Dear Roger
I think you played a great match on clay not only against Nadal in which u showed ur fighting spirit but in the tournament in general u showed the amazing player palyer u are and how u adapt to every surface. Ur are the greatest in my opinion
04/27/2006 | 08:51 PM
go rogi!i'm waiting for you in Rome!I hope to see you in final against rafa!see you in Rome,I'll be there!
04/27/2006 | 04:15 PM
It is so frustrating to see Rafael to get the better of you. He is such an intense player, on any surface. Must be mentally tough on you even before starting a match with him knowing he has had such success playing you. We all know that you are still the
04/27/2006 | 08:53 AM
hi my dear,
it's me again, your thai fan, though it's quite late to write to u. i felt sad not to watch u play the semi final and final cos i went to the beach with my friends. but i think now your lefty coach can find the way for u to beat 'the animal'
04/27/2006 | 08:41 AM
Dear Roger
I am very happy to you , you are now a important and very good player on clay like the hard ground.
Yes, that is Roger Federer , the great player, Number one , the best player on the world and the best from any one , I know you will get what
04/27/2006 | 08:35 AM
Roger

Sorry for posting again. I totally agree with 1Fedfan's opinion. Don't think too much Nadal as your opponent, which gives you psychological weakness. Sharapova in her first match was tamed by Hingis in Tokyo because she thought too much as her op
04/27/2006 | 08:28 AM
hi my dear,
it's me again though it's quite late cos i went to the beach with my friends. i felt sad not to watch u play and u lost. i think while u played your lefty coach were watching also and can now find the way for u to beat that animal. i hate man
04/27/2006 | 08:23 AM
tough, tough one. still, you're one great competitor. this is a challenge i know you'll overcome. and with that, victory will be sweeter :D we're always behind you roger, and we'll be cheering for your every game.
04/27/2006 | 08:16 AM
Roger

You are the man who pull me into TV to see tennis machch after McCanro-Borg riverly.
Your technic is supurb, and clearly you are better than Nadal. But you lost three times in a row, which means that your tatic has to be changed. To beat him, j
04/27/2006 | 08:14 AM
Roger

You are the man who pull me into TV to see tennis machch after McCanro-Borg riverly.
Your technic is supurb, and clearly you are better than Nadal. But you lost three times in a row, which means that your tatic has to be changed. To beat him, j