Nadal beats Federer in semis

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:52 IST

Spain's Rafael Nadal defeated world number one Roger Federer in four sets to secure a place in the final of the French Open.

Nadal beats Federer in semis

Paris:

Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrated his 19th birthday in style on Friday, defeating world number one Roger Federer in four sets to secure a place in the final of the French Open. Nadal's 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory sees him become the youngest men's finalist at Roland Garros since Michael Chang, the champion in 1989 at the age of 17. He will face unseeded Argentine Mariano Puerta in the final. Puerta also advanced to his first ever Grand Slam final after defeating Russia's Nikolay Davydenko in five sets - 6-3, 5-7, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4. Puerta's victory means that Roland Garros will see an unseeded player in the men's final for the third year in a row. Eagerly awaited matchThe semi-final between Swiss world number one Federer and fourth-seeded Nadal was arguably the most eagerly anticipated match of the tournament. Federer made a stuttering start. The 21-year-old was broken three times by Nadal in the first set, including in his opening service game. The Spanish youngster took the first set 6-3. But Federer came out fighting in the second set and Nadal was unable to cope with the change of pace. The world number one duly took the second 6-4 to level the match at one set all. The third set proved to be a tighter affair as both players looked to gain the upper hand. After a break each, it looked to be heading for a tiebreaker. But Nadal broke Federer once more in the tenth game to take the set 6-4 for a 2-1 lead. Federer had everything to do in the fourth set and started well, breaking in the third game. But Nadal refused to give up and pulled back the game to once more level the score. The world number one tried in vain to regain his lead but another break of serve for Nadal in the eighth game brought an end to the Swiss star's challenge as his opponent served out to take the set and the match 6-3 4-6 6-4 6-3. (AP)



Topics : Tennis Rafael Nadal
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