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Nadal vs. Federer final
By Paul Logothetis
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 05 - 2009

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will meet for the first time since the Australian Open final for the Madrid Open title after Nadal saved three match points to beat Novak Djokovic 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9) on Saturday.
Nadal and Djokovic, playing their fourth match this year, needed a Masters Series record 4 hours, 3 minutes to separate at the Magic Box tennis center.
Top-ranked Nadal's 33rd straight win on clay lifted him into his seventh final this season, but he will carry a right knee injury into Sunday's match with No. 2 Federer, who beat No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro 6-3, 6-4 in their semifinal.
Federer has lost his last five matches against Nadal.
Earlier, top-ranked Dinara Safina beat Switzerland's Patty Schnyder 6-4, 6-2 to set up a final against Danish teenager Caroline Wozniacki, who put away former No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo 7-6 (1), 6-3.
Nadal is 9-1 on clay against Federer, who will at least carry a physical advantage into their finale after a trouble-free semifinals win.
Nadal complained of discomfort in his right knee before the match, which hampered his ability to move as he made uncharacteristic errors that allowed for an early break in the first set.
Nadal called for his trainer to have the leg wrapped in the second set before leveling.
In the deciding tiebreaker, Djokovic watched Nadal hit forehand winners down the near line to save his first two match points. The Serb then beat Nadal with a passing shot to save a match point of his own. But leading 9-8, Djokovic sent the ball out and then netted on Nadal's next match point to end the longest three-set match in the history of Masters tournaments, the ATP level below the Grand Slams.
Federer fired eight aces and kept the 20-year-old Argentine off-balance by repeatedly coming to the net to score 34 winners, including the needed break point across each set that was enough for victory.


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