hamburg07federer_nadal

Points won by each set: [ 23-31, 36-24, 26-12 ]
Points won directly behind the serve:
23 % Federer – 17 of 73
18 % Nadal – 15 of 79

# Already established as a “King of Clay” at the age of 21, Nadal [2] lost his first clay-court match after 81 consecutive win!! It was quite obvious that Federer [1] should have been considered as the most probable player to end the streak, but no-one could anticipate such a beat-down in sets two and three. In 2007 Nadal had already claimed clay-court titles in Monte Carlo, Barcelona & Rome after playing good events at Indian Wells & Miami; plenty of tennis within two months finally got him, he showed signs of tiredness in Hamburg during his semifinal win over Hewitt. Probably he felt that he’d beat the best player in the world only in two sets and began the final playing much more aggressively than usual, trying to shorten the points. Who knows what could have happened if he had converted a break point at 1-all in the 2nd set when he lost a 20-stroke rally running a lot – it shifted the momentum, and from *4:2 Federer took the last eight games (Nadal had points to win two games). Federer defeated Nadal for the first time on clay after five defeats, including a fresh one at Monte Carlo. Very important triumph for the Swiss because before Hamburg he found himself for the first time in some troubles as a “tennis god” – virtually unbeaten in years 2005-06 he came to Hamburg with a modest 6-4 record off the past four events which caused his decision to split with his coach Tony Roach. The beginning of a new chapter indicated that the crisis could be continued – he saved five break points at 0:1 in the 3rd set vs Monaco, later on trailing 3:4; he was three games away from defeat to Ferrer & Moya in another matches, but finished with the title having defeated five clay-court specialists which could be very promising ahead of French Open ’07… where he lost in the final to Nadal, and needed to wait another two years to conquer Paris.

Federer’s route to his 48th title:
2 Juan Monaco 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
3 Juan C. Ferrero 6-2, 6-3
Q David Ferrer 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
S Carlos Moya 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
W Rafael Nadal 2-6, 6-2, 6-0

# Nadal, during his unbelievable 81-match winning streak on clay, had a few difficult matches when at least two games separated him from defeat:
Match no. 16, Rome 2005 (SF): Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 7-5… two games away (wasted 2 MPs serving at 5:4)
Match no. 17, Rome 2005 (F): Coria 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6… two points away
Match no. 45, Barcelona 2006 (QF): Nieminen 4-6, 6-4, 6-3… trailed *1:4 in 2nd set
Match no. 53, Rome 2006 (F): Federer 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6… saved two match points
Match no. 76, Rome 2007 (SF): Davydenko 7-6, 6-7, 6-4… trailed *3:4 in 3rd set
Match no. 81, Hamburg 2007 (SF): Hewitt 2-6, 6-3, 7-5… two games away (served at 5:4, 30-all)

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