Incredible – second year running Nadal  wins a 5-hour marathon in the deciding tie-break to raise the trophy at Foro Italico. That victory was even sweeter because he defeated Federer in his prime, being closer to defaet than against Coria. Federer saved a set point at *4:5 in the 2nd set, and led 4:2 in the tie-break, ther was 5-all so the Swiss was two points away from a two-set advantage. In the crucial phase of that tie-break, the forehand deserted him. It’s worth mentioning thatonly two breaks of serve inthe first two tie-break sets despite not so many points obtained directly after the serve. Nadal broke at 1-all in the 3rd set, he had a break point in Federer’s opening game of the 4th set – since then for one hour Federer was perhaps playing his best clay-court tennis in career, and after winning the set 6-2, he led 4:1* in the decider (had a game point to lead 5:2). The forehand deserted him again though, especially as he led 6:5 (40/15), then he made two mistake off his better wing, in 6 & 8 stroke rallies (the second it was an attempt to finish the contest). He also led *5:3 in the deciding tie-break when made another forehand error to lose the last four points. “Federer is a modern genius, so I expect him to work it out,” said John McEnroe. “But Nadal plays with such an incredible amount of energy and intensity. He’s all revved up and you’ve simply just got to love that.”
Nadal’s route to his 16th title:
1 Carlos Moya 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
2 Filippo Volandri 6-1, 6-2
3 Tim Henman 6-2, 6-2
Q Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 6-3
S Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-2
W Roger Federer 6-7(0) 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) – 2 m.p.
# Comparison of their two epic five-setters in the finals:
Rome ’06: Nadal d. Federer 6-7, 7-6, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6… 5 hours 5 minutes… Total points: 174-179… Nadal saved 2 MPs
Wimb ’08: Nadal d. Federer 6-4, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7… 4 hours 48 minutes… Total points: 209-204… Nadal 2 pts away from defeat
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