Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Nadal Does it Again….

Nadal wins this third consecutive Monte Carlo Masters Title –his eighth Masters Series Title – by beating World No.1 Roger Federer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4 in just over an hour (67 minutes). The match was no patch on last year’s final between the same players, which was also won by Nadal. Coming into the finals, Federer seemed really confident with comfortable wins over the 12th seeded Spaniard David Ferrer in the quarter finals (6-4,6-0) and the 16th seeded 2003 French Open Champion Jaun Carlos Ferrero in the semi finals (6-3, 6-4). Federer was playing smooth tennis till he reached the finals and his ploy of coming to the net and finishing off points on important occasions paid well till he played Nadal in the final. The final started with Federer having a break-point on Nadal’s serve in the first game itself. Nadal managed to stave off that and hold his serve. The players matched each other, Federer showing his supreme shot-making ability and Nadal displaying his tenacious game tailor-made for clay. Leading 4-3, Federer had a chance to break his Nadal’s serve and go up 5-3. Nadal managed to save both those break points and held his serve. In the next game he broke his opponent’s serve and then held his own serve comfortably to close out the set. Nadal’s game plan was simple and effective- he kept attacking Federer’s backhand whenever he could and to add to Federer’s woes his forehand was quite erratic, especially in the second set. Nadal also showcased his new-found confidence in playing an attacking brand of tennis at crucial points, as he made successful forays to the net. With the first set safely in his pocket, all Nadal needed was a break in the third game of the second set to take complete command of the match. Federer’s volleys that would have been clear winners against his earlier round opponents were retrieved by Nadal and in many cases Nadal managed to hit accurate passing shots that Federer could not lay hands on.

As Nadal next moves to Barcelona to defend his Seat Godo Open title, – he had beaten Tommy Robredo in the finals last year – Federer takes the week off to prepare himself for the Rome Masters.

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