Tennis: Federer finally beats Nadal
MADRID ó Roger Federer got a badly needed confidence boost ahead of the French Open, beating top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday to win his first title of the season at the Madrid Open.
The second-ranked Federer broke a sluggish Nadal once in both sets before firing his sixth ace to win his 15th Masters Series title on the second match point. Federer also won here in 2006 when the event was played indoors on a hard court.
“There are no positives, there is little to analyze,” said Nadal, the 2005 champion. “He broke and broke and I went home.”
It was only the second victory Federer has on clay against his top rival, with the other coming at the Hamburg final two years ago. The win also ended Federer’s five-match losing streak to Nadal, a stretch that included losses in the finals at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Australia.
Federer called his first win over Nadal since the 2007 Masters Cup “very satisfying.” Especially after being left in tears in February following his defeat to Nadal at Melbourne.
“I thought I took all the right decisions today. In the end it was a perfect game for me,” the Swiss player said after drawing even with Nadal in Masters titles. “(You) stay positive and I did. I got the win I needed badly.”
Earlier, top-ranked Dinara Safina of Russia won her second straight title on clay by beating Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki 6-2, 6-4 in the women’s final.
Federer also ended Nadal’s 33-match clay winning streak. The Spaniard will be going for a fifth straight title at the French Open beginning on May 25.