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Nadal and Roger meet again

13.05.2006 | Tennis

Roger will face defending champion Rafael Nadal, after defeating David Nalbandian in his semifinal, defeating him 6-3, 3-6, 7-6.

The final gives the world's top two players a chance to resume their intense rivalry in which Spaniard Nadal holds the upper hand after winning the last three contests, including the final of the Monte Carlo Masters claycourt event last month. "It's always special when the top two play each other. It certainly was in Monte Carlo," said Roger, whose best result in five previous visits to the Italian capital was runner-up to Felix Mantilla in 2003. "We both look forward to it. It's good for us and good for the game, especially on clay."

While Nadal had few problems getting the better of Frenchman Monfils in the battle of the 19-year-olds, Roger was forced to come from a break down in the deciding set of his match against fourth seed Nalbandian. It was his second close brush with defeat in as many days following his quarterfinal against Spanish qualifier Nicolas Almagro, which he edged 7-5 in the third. Argentines Nalbandian promised to be a tough opponent, having beaten Federer six times in their previous 10 meetings, including in the season-ending Masters Cup final last year.

If Nadal beats the world number one on Sunday he will equal Guillermo Vilas's all-time record of 53 consecutive wins on clay, set in 1977.

For Roger, it is already his sixth final in the second-highest tournament series. should he triumph in the match against Nadal - best of five - it would be his 11th title at a Masters-Series event. This would bring him up to the second place on the ranking in this statistic after Pete Sampras.

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05/14/2006 | 05:34 PM
tight game
COME ON ROGER, please, you really must win this set.
05/14/2006 | 05:29 PM
1-0 to our champ, Roger Federer, opens 4th set.
Lets keep it this way. Stay ahead of Nadal.
Roger, YOU MUST.
05/14/2006 | 05:28 PM
If you want a chance of staying in the tournament, Roger, you must win the 4th set.
Otherwise, it's 5-1 to Nadal and 3 consecutive tournaments in a row.
05/14/2006 | 05:24 PM
Nadal claims 3rd set 6-4.

It doesn't look too good for Roger at this point. This is the repeat of the MC Final.
You have to do this Roger.
You can.
You can.
05/14/2006 | 05:23 PM
fighting fighting ..... gooooooooooo
Roger please!!!!!
05/14/2006 | 05:08 PM
4-3...still a bit of hope yet for Roger!
Come on Roger, work harder!
05/14/2006 | 05:04 PM
Get the 1st serve in... You can do it!
05/14/2006 | 05:02 PM
there is NO doubt you can beat Nadal when youre playing y our game... its very clear... but you let up on him for some reason, but you will get him no worries ...
05/14/2006 | 05:02 PM

congrats on making it to the final again! you are unstoppable!
05/14/2006 | 05:00 PM
goooooooooooooo Roger please