Madrid Flashback: Roger Federer beats Fernando Gonzalez and writes history

Roger Federer and Fernando Gonzalez met nine times between 2006-2009. The Swiss prevailed in all encounters, overpowering the Chilean twice at Majors and six times at the Masters 1000 events. One of the matches came on October 22, 2006, when Federer scored a 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 triumph in an hour and 48 minutes in the Madrid Masters final, claiming the tenth title of the season and 19th straight victory after previously conquering the US Open and Tokyo. It was the 12th Masters 1000 crown for Roger, leaving Pete Sampras on 11 and increasing his lead over Rafael Nadal and the rest of the Tour. Federer scored four straight-sets wins over Nicolas Massu, Robin Soderling (two tie breaks), Robby Ginepri and David Nalbandian to reach the title match, dominating against Gonzalez in sets two and three to wrap up the triumph and celebrate the 43rd ATP crown at 25.

The Swiss fired 31 service winners and fended off both break points to keep the pressure on Fernando. The Chilean stayed in touch with the world’s leading player only in the opening set, struggling on the first and second serve and facing 13 break chances in total to feed Roger with plenty of opportunities. The Swiss grabbed a break in the opener’s 12th game and never looked back, stealing 12 of the next 13 games for an impressive victory and another title in his third brilliant season in a row. Federer tamed Gonzalez’s serve and forehand and was the only player on the court in sets two and three, dominating the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies to earn the victory fair and square. There were no opportunities for a break in the opening 11 games, and Fernando wasted three game chances at 5-6 before losing serve after Roger’s smash winner.

In 2006, Roger Federer claimed the tenth title of the season in Madrid.

Roger received a medical timeout on his right leg, although that did not affect his game. He hit three winners at the beginning of the second set and four more in the third game to stay ahead before breaking Gonzalez to move 3-1 in front a few minutes later. A forehand winner pushed Federer 4-1 up, and he secured another break in the next game when Fernando’s forehand landed long. Serving for the set at 5-1, the Swiss fired a backhand winner for a hold at love and two sets to love advantage. Fernando received a medical timeout on his right arm ahead of the third set and had nothing more left in the tank, losing serve in the first game before creating a break chance in game two. Roger repelled it with a service winner and kept his serve intact. Stunning forehand crosscourt winner pushed the Swiss further ahead at 1-1, as he cemented the fifth straight break in the fifth game and served for the first Madrid title. Gonzalez created his second break chance in that game, but Federer stayed calm, repelling it with a volley winner and sealing the deal with a service winner to become the first player with ten ATP crowns in three consecutive years.

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