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Nadal triumphs once again

14.05.2006 | Tennis

Roger lost the final against Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-0), 6-7 (5-7), 4-6, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7) in a match played on a very high level.


In the win-lost statistic Roger dropped to 39-3 this year, with all losses coming to Nadal. The other two came in finals at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in March and the Monte Carlo Masters last month.


Roger showed a lot more aggressive tactics than in the final in Monte Carlo, when he lost serve seven times. He only served-and-volleyed sparingly, but aimed for the corners and followed his baseline shots into the net at every opportunity. Nadal broke serve only three times.


Nadal played his usual baseline game, and his heavy topspin consistently gave Roger problems. Our favourite shanked several shots high into the stands. Roger was coming off two long three-set matches. Nadal hadn't dropped a set since his first-round win over Carlos Moya.


Rome remains one of only four Masters Series events where Roger has not triumphed. Monte Carlo, Madrid and Paris are the others. He also lost the Rome final in 2003 to Felix Mantilla.


Rafael Nadal has now beaten Roger in four straight matches, including the semifinals last year at Roland Garros. The Spaniard has also tied Guillermo Vilas' (1977) record 53-match winning streak on clay in the Open era. Nadal began his streak at the Monte Carlo Masters in April 2005 and has now won nine straight tournaments on clay.

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