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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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04/27/2006 | 08:12 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 | 07:08 AM
hi roggi,
so what? you played the better tennis.
you were magnificent throughout the tournament. you need to play regularly to nadal... so you can learn his game and defeat him.
best of luck for the italia roma masters.
we are always there for you.
c
04/27/2006 | 06:58 AM
Hi Roger; don't worry about the recent loss. You will figure out how to beat Nadal the next time you meet. Just forget that you are on a clay court and play your normal way and you will win. Good luck!!
Rupert, Singapore
04/27/2006 | 05:50 AM
Gidday Roger

Am a great fan of yours and was hoping like Hell that you'd sorted out Nadal this time. Didn't see the whole game on TV, and noted that you took him to 4 sets again, but there's no doubt that he's got the game to trouble you at the moment
04/27/2006 | 03:34 AM
Roger, you re the NUMBER ONE FOR ME, ok, Nadal won, but the next time Im sure you will be the winner. I was suffering during the game, I admitted I m still sad, but you fighted as a lion...a lot of kisses for you, champion
04/27/2006 | 03:15 AM
Mon cher ROGER !!!

Je te remercie ROGER, et aussi à NADAL de m'offrir le PLUS SPECTACULAIRE TENNIS depuis 25 ans.

Grâce à Nadal, ton TENNIS déjà PARFAIT va s'améliorer d'une coche.

Le tennis sur terre battue est complèment différent du gazon et
04/27/2006 | 03:13 AM
Mon cher ROGER !!!

Je te remercie ROGER, et aussi à NADAL de m'offrir le PLUS SPECTACULAIRE TENNIS depuis 25 ans.

Grâce à Nadal, ton TENNIS déjà PARFAIT va s'améliorer d'une coche.

Le tennis sur terre battue est complèment différent du gazon et
04/27/2006 | 03:12 AM
Mon cher ROGER !!!

Je te remercie ROGER, et aussi à NADAL de m'offrir le PLUS SPECTACULAIRE TENNIS depuis 25 ans.

Grâce à Nadal, ton TENNIS déjà PARFAIT va s'améliorer d'une coche.

Le tennis sur terre battue est complèment différent du gazon et
04/27/2006 | 03:11 AM
Mon cher ROGER !!!

Je te remercie ROGER, et aussi à NADAL de m'offrir le PLUS SPECTACULAIRE TENNIS depuis 25 ans.

Grâce à Nadal, ton TENNIS déjà PARFAIT va s'améliorer d'une coche.

Le tennis sur terre battue est complèment différent du gazon et
04/27/2006 | 03:11 AM
Mon cher ROGER !!!

Je te remercie ROGER, et aussi à NADAL de m'offrir le PLUS SPECTACULAIRE TENNIS depuis 25 ans.

Grâce à Nadal, ton TENNIS déjà PARFAIT va s'améliorer d'une coche.

Le tennis sur terre battue est complèment différent du gazon et