ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Roger Federer beats Ferrer for another Rafael Nadal encounter

Roger Federer became the first Madrid Open champion at the new venue at Caja Magica in 2009, taking down tired Rafael Nadal in straight sets. A year later, the Swiss was there to challenge the Spaniard in the title clash again, advancing into the 26th Masters 1000 final following a 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 triumph over David Ferrer, the third home player in the last four after Nadal and Almagro. It was the tenth triumph for Roger over David in as many encounters, earning it after repelling three out of four break chances and securing two return games from nine opportunities that carried him home. Federer was the more aggressive player on the court, firing 35 winners and unforced errors each and forcing almost 40 mistakes from the Spaniard to topple him with a single break in the decider. As was expected, Roger had the upper hand in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, building a massive advantage and staying in touch with David in the more extended exchanges to move over the top and remain undefeated in Caja Magica.

Roger Federer battled past David Ferrer to reach the Madrid Open final in 2010.

Ferrer fended off three break chances at 1-1 and closed the game with a running forehand winner to give the crowd something to cheer about before firing another beautiful winner for a hold at love in game five. Federer created a break chance at 4-3 with a perfect drop shot, denied by an ace from Ferrer, who repelled two more break opportunities for a 5-4 advantage. On the other hand, Roger lost only one point in five service games, delivering quick and comfortable holds and hoping for more return chances in the closing stages. The Swiss finally grabbed a break at 5-5 when the Spaniard netted a backhand and fired three winners on serve for 7-5 after 46 minutes, closing the set in style and hoping for more of the same in the second. Instead of that, Ferrer generated the rival’s error to clinch a break in game four, cementing it with a service winner a few minutes later and taking 13 of the last 18 points for a great run.

A service winner sent the Spaniard 5-2 in front, and he held at 15 in game nine to lock the set and set up a decider, seeking the first triumph over a notable rival. Roger squandered break points in the third set’s second game and erased one on his own serve a few minutes later with a forehand down the line winner. Federer remained on the positive side of the scoreboard and served better by the end of the clash to mount the pressure on the other side. David fought well, but that wasn’t enough to keep him safe, at least until the tie break, losing serve in the eighth game and allowing Federer to seal the deal with an ace in the next one and set the clash against Rafael Nadal.

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