I beat Roger Federer, and something had to change.

I beat Roger Federer, and something had to change.


It’s been a long time since a best-of-five Masters 1000 final, with no title since Miami 2007. Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer played a thrilling encounter in Rome 2006 that closed the door on a best-of-five final. , because the competitors could not recover for the next week’s activities.

In the year Recalling his impressive victories over Guillermo Correa and Roger Federer at the Foro Italico in 2005 and 2006, Rafa recalled that both lasted more than five hours. He and his opponent spent so much energy that they failed to recover and missed the next week’s tournament in Hamburg.

That incredible 2006 title match – the best of all time for many – was the final nail in the coffin for the top-five Masters 1000 final. Nadal needed five hours and five minutes to defeat Federer 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) and defend the Rome title, both giving 120%. Start to finish.

The Spaniard was one of the greats of the clay court at the age of 19. However, Roger goes into this final on a positive note after pushing Rafa to the limit in Monte Carlo a month ago. The Swiss felt ready to put up another strong challenge in Rome and fight for the lost title in the set.

Roger had a great chance to match Rafa’s pace and steal the win. Leading 4-1 in the final game, he squandered two points in the return game in the 12th game and led 5-3 in the final! As always, Nadal refused to give up and overcame all obstacles to win one of the most important matches of his career and lift his sixth Masters 1000 title.

Rafael Nadal needed more than five hours to beat Roger Federer in Rome 2006.

It was Nadal’s 53rd victory on clay, tying Guillermo Vilas’ Open Era record. Also, he notched his 13th consecutive victory in an ATP Finals, dating back to another major title match against Roger in Miami a year ago.

Rome was Nadal’s 16th and final ATP title as a teenager, where he tied with Björn Borg at the top of the all-time record. Roger won five points ahead of Rafa and did everything right, saving six of nine break points and holding the second serve to stay competitive.

The Swiss was in attack mode, pressing his forehand at every opportunity, breaking Nadal’s rhythm with a steady stream of forehands, claiming a staggering 64 of his 84 points at the net. World no. 1 had a slight advantage in a few points and chased Nadal’s numbers in extended rallies, but collapsed in the closing stages when he fell forehand.

Rafa never gave up, finding ways to push Roger’s backhand to the limit to get back on the positive side in the deciding set. A teenager kept his focus as he faced those game points to score one of his most cherished victories.

“In 2007, we turned the best Masters 1000 final into a best-of-three. If I’m not mistaken, I had to play two marathon finals in Rome in 2005 and 2006 against Guillermo Correa and Roger Federer, and I couldn’t play a week later in Hamburg.”

Back-to-back Masters 1000 finals, best-of-three finals, make sense. That’s why we changed it. On the other hand, I am completely against the Majors; We have an off day and those tournaments are a big part of our history,” said Rafael Nadal.



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