Nadal Tops Federer to Win Madrid Masters

by John on May 17, 2010

Rafael Nadal won his record 18th Masters Series title yesterday, defeating reigning-champion Roger Federer 6-4, 7-6 (5) in the final of the Madrid Masters. The win boosted Nadal’s record to 15-0 on the European clay-court swing leading up to the French Open and broke a tie with Andre Agassi for most Masters titles. Nadal won at Monte Carlo and Rome earlier this spring and now appears to be the odds-on favorite to capture his fifth crown at Roland Garros. The Spaniard reclaimed No. 2 in the world today in the latest ATP rankings. “I’m very happy with everything so far this year. I think I’ve returned to my top form and that’s the most important thing for me,” Nadal said. “Am I the favorite to win at Roland Garros? I was last year and I lost.’ Top-ranked Federer dropped to 6-3 in his three clay-court tuneups and couldn’t take advantage of the fast playing conditions in Madrid’s altitude. “I wasn’t able to defend my title here today but I thought Rafa played an incredible clay-court season,” said Federer. “I’m looking forward to Paris now. I’m happy with my clay-court game.” The Swiss Maestro probably wasn’t happy, though, when he committed four consecutive unforced errors while leading 4-2 in the tiebreaker and then whiffed on a ball at match point. Still, Federer served nine aces to just two for Nadal and won the battle of winners 34-27. Nadal committed seven fewer unforced errors, 27-34, and won 85 points to Federer’s 84 in the ever-so-tight contest. Nadal improved to 14-7 against Federer, including 10-2 on clay. The match was the first between the two since the Madrid final a year ago. “It’s nice that we have had a chance to play each other again and live up to the expectations with a good match, and it was a nice performance from both of us,” Federer said. “He comes up with incredible stuff. He’s Rafa Nadal after all.”

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