Monte Carlo Masters: Federer to take on Nadal

Roger Federer thinks the key to beating Rafael Nadal is to be ready for a fight.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:40 IST
  • Total Shares
Monte Carlo, Monaco:Roger Federer thinks the key to beating Rafael Nadal is to be ready for a fight. "Just stay with him, for the entire time,'' Federer said. "I have the feeling that other guys tend not to take the physical challenge with him. That's what I won't do.'' Top-ranked Federer and second-ranked Nadal meet in Sunday's final at the Monte Carlo Masters, after contrasting semifinal wins. It will be Federer's 12th consecutive final appearance and sixth this year. On the other hand, Nadal hopes to extend his unbeaten streak on clay to 42 matches and beat Federer for the fourth time in five meetings. Federer lost to Nadal at Dubai - his only defeat in 34 matches this year - and feels he gained valuable knowledge then. "He's quite one-dimensional with his game,'' said Federer after Saturday's 6-2, 6-4 semifinal win over Fernando Gonzalez of Chile. "After Dubai, I thought I actually saw the way I should play against him. The more I play him, the better it is for me.'' Beyond expectations Reaching the Monte Carlo final has "exceeded'' seven-time Grand Slam champion Federer's expectations. The 24-year-old feels ahead of schedule for the French Open - the only major he has yet to win. "I've got another opportunity to play him,'' Federer said. His semifinal win over 12th-seeded Gonzalez lasted little over an hour, while Nadal needed more than two-and-half hours to beat Gaston Gaudio 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Federer has won the last four Masters series he has played - at Hamburg, Cincinnati, Indian Wells and Miami - and would extend his Masters winning run to 30 games with victory over Nadal. Sunday's match will be their first outdoor meeting since Nadal topped Federer in the French Open semifinals last June. Nadal's winning streak on clay is the third-longest in the Open era. However, he dropped his first set since July's final at Bastad, Sweden, against Tomas Berdych. "I always think about victory,'' said Nadal. "It was very important for me to stay in this final. If I play my best I have a chance (against Federer). I'm going to play aggressively, with determination.'' Only Bjorn Borg, with 46, and Vilas, with 53, have won more straight matches on clay than French Open champion Nadal. "He was actually too good,'' 2004 French Open champion Gaudio said. "I played a great first set and then he was playing much better than me.'' In a match lasting 2 hours, 39 minutes and featuring spectacular lobs, drop shots, and improbable retrieves, Gaudio looked to test Nadal's weaker backhand early. Nadal's booming ground strokes often came straight back at him, as Gaudio's baseline defense and excellent backhand frustrated the Spaniard. (AP)

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Tennis
  • Roger Federer
  • James Blake

Leave a comment