uo03roddick_nalbandian

uo03roddick_nalbandian

Points won by each set: | 47-48, 25-29, 46-47, 27-12, 27-19 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
40 % Roddick – 61 of 152
14 % Nalbandian – 25 of 175

Roddick [4] was a big favorite before the contest because he’d beaten Nalbandian 6-1, 6-3 in the Montreal final just a few weeks earlier, but for 2.5 half sets the Argentine [13] delivered a perfect tennis, especially from a tactical point of view. Even though Roddick was serving his bombs with astonishing consistency (14 aces in the opener at 70% of 1st serve in!), Nalbandian could find a way to get all the most important points as a receiver, and held many times quite comfortably, excluding a game at 3:2 for Roddick in the 1st set, when 8 deuces occurred (six break points). The mid-3rd set turned to be crucial: Nalbandian had three break points in total at 2-all & 3-all, and every time the second serve to deal with, he was too passive though, and didn’t capitalize. Anyway, he could have won the tie-break as he led 3:0*, 4:2 and had a match point at 6:5* – Roddick responded with two 135 mph serves (two instant points). At 7-all the partisan crowd helped a lot: Nalbandian played backhand cross-court and someone from the stands shouted ‘out’, it affected a following FH shot which he netted, well, it could affect Roddick’s backhand as well… The Argentine lost his monumental focus afterwards, and basically didn’t fight in the 4th set at all. It seemed that the decider would be concluded in another tie-break, and who knows what could have happened if the hawk-eye system had been already introduced at the time. Roddick led 4:3* when Nalbandian “saved” the vital break point with a backhand passing-shot (as hawkeye – for the TV purpose – indicated), but it was called ‘out’ and Roddick quickly held at ‘love’ to finish the job in 3 hours 31 minutes.

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