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Roger unable to defend his crown

18.05.2008 | Tennis

Roger was not able to defend his Hamburg title, losing to Rafael Nadal in a three-set thriller: 5-7, 7-6 (3), 3-6.

It was the reverse of last year's final, when Roger won his fourth title in Hamburg and snapped Nadal's 81-match winning streak on clay. It was our star's first defeat after a series of 21 victories in Hamburg, taking home the title in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Roger's start into today's match was most promising, taking an early 2-0 lead and going to 5-1. But Nadal came back impressively after a medical time-out due to pain in his thigh, winning the next five games and the first set. The second set was very similar, with Nadal rallying from big deficits but Roger showing a great display to clearly win the tie-break.

Roger fell behind 1-4 in the third set and was not able to stop the Spaniard from winning his 26th career title. The head-to-head between the two now is 1-8 on clay and 6-10 overall from Roger's point of view. Our number one having as much practice on clay as never before, he will enter Roland Garros - starting in a week from now - with plenty of confidence.

 
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