Points won by each set: [ 13-28, 31-25, 27-25 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
10 % Nadal – 8 of 80
27 % Federer – 19 of 69

Very important match in their rivalry… The 19-year-old Nadal [2] led 2-1 in their H2H, nonetheless Federer [1] was a clear favorite having won 19 straight matches in Dubai (three titles in years 2003-05), on one of the fastest hardcourts. The first hour confirmed Federer’s supposed advantage on this particular surface, he was playing brilliant tennis, being on his way to notch another easy win, following his quarter-final (Vik) and semifinal (Youzhny), as he led 4:3* (deuce) in the 2nd set – he netted a casual forehand then, and the final turned around – Nadal found his range at passing-shots to win five games in a row. Federer came back from a break down to lead 4:3* (15/0), having held thrice in a row at ‘love’, playing great tennis again. Yet the Spanish youngster saved more energy for the finishing line and got 12 out of the last 14 points, mainly thanks to his good serves and Federer’s forehand errors. “I think it is unbelievable to win against the best player in the world – perhaps the best in the history of the game,” said Nadal, who brought an end to Federer’s Open-Era record of 56 consecutive hard-court match victories. “It was also special because I was out of the game for more than three months. I cried because I was happy.” After three-month break, Nadal returned to the tour in Marseille where he lost the semifinal, Dubai was his second ATP event of 2006.

Nadal’s route to his 13th title:
1 Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-2
2 Younes El Aynaoui w/o
Q Tim Henman 7-6(1), 6-1
S Rainer Schuettler 6-4, 6-2
W Roger Federer 2-6, 6-4, 6-4

Serve & volley: Nadal 0, Federer 1/1

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