Nalbandian beats Nadal, wins Paris Masters

Updated: 07 November 2007 09:04 IST

David Nalbandian beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday to win the Paris Masters and clinch his second straight Masters title after winning in Madrid.

Nalbandian beats Nadal, wins Paris Masters

Paris:

David Nalbandian beat Rafael Nadal 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday to win the Paris Masters and clinch his second straight Masters title after winning in Madrid last month.

The Argentine player broke Nadal in the ninth game of a tight first set and three times in the second. He clinched the match with a forehand that bounced off the net and landed inside the line.

"All week I was playing great, and I don't know why the result was so easy," Nalbandian said.

"After I broke him, I felt that I was playing better than him. I play more relaxed, start hitting winners almost from everywhere. That gave me confidence," he added

Nalbandian beat the world's two top-ranked players on his way to the title, having knocked out top-seeded Roger Federer in the third round.

He also beat Nadal in straight sets in the quarterfinals at Madrid.

"He played better than me," Nadal said. "You have to congratulate him. I could not play at my best."

Nadal lost the second set in 27 minutes as his serve fell apart. The three-time French Open champion won only 17 percent of his second-serve points and had five winners to Nalbandian's 25.

The Spaniard had both knees taped during the match and had not played in a final since beating Stanislas Wawrinka to win the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, on July 22.

It was Nadal's first defeat in 26 matches in Paris, as he has never lost at the French Open, where he is 21-0.

He had also not lost a set 6-0 since losing the decider to Federer in the Hamburg Masters final on May 20.

Nalbandian becomes the first player since Marat Safin of Russia in 2004 to win Madrid and Paris back to back.

Before Madrid, Nalbandian had reached only one quarterfinal in 15 tournaments this season and said he was hampered by knee and back injuries for nearly six months.

"I was injured the first part of the year," Nalbandian said. "So it wasn't very easy for me to come back and play good tennis."

The win means Nalbandian is first alternate for the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, which features the top eight players in the ATP race.

Federer, Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, Andy Roddick, David Ferrer, Fernando Gonzalez and Richard Gasquet will play in the Masters Cup, which starts November 11.

Topics : Tennis David Nalbandian
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