Madrid – SF

Rafael Nadal for the second time this year overcame Roger Federer in the semifinal of a “Masters 1000′ event (previously in Miami). The Spaniard raced to a 4:2 lead, but Federer broke back and saved a triple break point at 5:5 with great serves. In the following game, powerful ground-strokes gave him the set. Nadal as usual, maintained his concentration throughout the match, Federer couldn’t afford to do it and lost the next two sets convincingly, however, had a break point in the last game after a spectacular combination of forehand, overhead and drop-shot – wasted Nadal’s second serve sending the ball into the net. The match (5-7, 6-1, 6-3) was played indoors due to rain. “I don’t think it was our best match for either of us, I think we both made some errors, more than usual,” commented Nadal.
In the second semifinal, Thomaz Bellucci who didn’t not lose his serve in the two previous encounters, won the 1st set against Novak Djokovic not being broken again and raced to a 3:1 lead in the 2nd set – major upset was wide open but D’Joke raised his level and won the next three games. In the 10th game he obtained the vital break to level at one set apiece and controlled totally the deciding set to get a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory which sent him to the six straight final! “I always believed throughout the whole match that I could turn it around and I was right,” reflected Djokovic. “He was definitely the better player for a set and a half. He was more aggressive. I just felt quite slow on the court from the start of the match and it took me a while to really get into the rhythm. But when I did, when I made that crucial break, it was much better.”

An interesting thing happened in doubles, in Saturday’s semifinals (The Bryan brothers vs.  Isner/Querry and Llodra/Zimonjic vs. Cilic/Ljubicic) was exactly the same scoreline: 4-6, 6-1, [12-10] – in both matches the losing team squandered one match point!
# Semifinalists of the first four ‘Masters 1000’ tournaments in 2011:
Indian Wells: Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Del Potro
Miami: Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Fish
Monte Carlo: Nadal, Ferrer, Murray, Melzer
Madrid: Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, Bellucci
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