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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 | 03:08 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 | 02:36 AM
A RIVALRY IS BORN!

I think this new so called rivalry is great!
It´s adding a new dimension too the game that we lacked before. In the last years it´s basically been A ONE MAN SHOW by our champion.

Now it´s finaly coming a guy who´s up for the ch
04/26/2006 | 08:06 PM
slow start, too many unforced errors, low first serves etc. you had butteflies. keep learning.
u are the next french open champ.
04/26/2006 | 08:02 PM
????????
04/26/2006 | 07:41 PM
Roger and fans,
This is my second post, (the first very early)
Roger, you need to watch "The Waterboy" with Adam Sandler and when you play Nadal, picture playing someone you can knock off easily in your head!! Just kidding, heh, we will always support
04/26/2006 | 07:40 PM
Roger and fans,
This is my second post, (the first very early)
Roger, you need to watch "The Waterboy" with Adam Sandler and when you play Nadal, picture playing someone you can knock off easily in your head!! Just kidding, heh, we will always support
04/26/2006 | 07:38 PM
Hello Roger!
Thank you for the great week in Monte Carlo.I think next time you will defeat him. You have to attack him all the time like you did in the first set in Dubai.You played so good at the net on sunday, it is the only way to beat him.
Good luc
04/26/2006 | 07:08 PM
Regarding how to beat Nadal- UNRELENTING,FLAT, POWERED PLACEMENT. simply put- eliminate his primary strength (movement) by focusing your ability to hit balls faster, harder and with greater precision than he can. Refuse to let your own movement on the cla
04/26/2006 | 05:58 PM
Hi, roger,
I'm watching (on tv) the Nadal-Lopez match in Barcelona. Feliciano's playing pretty well - and he's left-handed... Why not to train with him next weeks...?
You're still the best...
Arturo
04/26/2006 | 05:56 PM
Hi Roger, I just want to say Congratulations on a great tournament! you are correct you are a step closer to winning this one too! We all Love you and are super proud of OUR ROGER!!!!!!!

Your enchanted with you FAN <
MIRTA