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Tennis-Nadal tames Federer in classic Monte Carlo final

Written by: Staff

MONTE CARLO, Apr 23 (Reuters) Rafael Nadal won a superb battle today against world number one Roger Federer 6-2 6-7 6-3 7-6 to retain his Monte Carlo Masters title.

The only man to have beaten Federer this season, world number two Nadal has now done it twice after stopping the Swiss in the Dubai final last month.

The 19-year-old Spaniard, who improved his record against Federer to 4-1, again proved too tough for his gifted opponent, scoring his 42nd consecutive win on clay.

Playing close to perfection, French Open champion Nadal opened up a 4-0 lead in the first set, which he wrapped up in 42 minutes by winning his last service game to love.

The second set was a lot closer, Federer fighting back to 5-5 from a break down.

The Swiss levelled the match after taking the tiebreak 7-2 with an ace on set point.

Nadal dropped his serve in the opening game of the third set but he broke back immediately and again in the eighth game. The Spaniard served for the set and took it with a superb forehand winner.

Nadal won the first three games of the fourth before Federer recovered to level the set and force another tiebreak.

Although Federer went 3-0 up, Nadal underlined his battling instincts to take it 7-5. A forehand winner on his first match point sealed victory after three hours and 49 minutes of thrilling tennis.

Reuthers SHB BST2241

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