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Out in Semi Final

03.06.2005 | Tennis

Rafael Nadal celebrated his 19th birthday with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Roger to reach the final in his first French Open. "I started bad and finished bad," Roger said. "I was good in the middle, but that was not good enough." Playing with his characteristic creativity and charisma, Nadal raced to an early lead against Roger and rallied from a 3-1 deficit in the final set. His heavy topspin and ability to chase down shots forced Roger into uncustomary unforced errors, including three when he lost serve for 3-all in the final set. "You start thinking about whether you're going to go to the net," Roger said. "This has to do with his game. If you go to the net, you're going to get a shot with a lot of topspin." Roger lost for only the third time in 49 matches this year. The center court crowd cheered as he left, and Nadal joined the applause. Roger had won 28 consecutive sets, including 15 in Paris, but Nadal ended that streak. Nadal's opponent Sunday will be unseeded Mariano Puerta, who advanced to his first Grand Slam final by winning the last four games and overtaking a weary Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

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