2005 ROME MASTERS

FINAL     

    RAFAEL NADAL   v    GUILLERMO CORIA

6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6

 

 

 

 

Nadal won his toughest test to date Sunday, taking his third straight clay-court title by edging French Open runner-up Guillermo Coria 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (6) at the Rome Masters in a match that lasted more than five hours.
Nadal appeared exhausted and debilitated from blisters to his playing hand when he fell behind 0-3 in the fifth set.
Somehow, the 18-year-old Spaniard found the energy to rally for yet another victory, just as he fought back from first-set losses in his previous two matches.
``This was the toughest match of my life,'' Nadal said. ``I want to thank the fans, without whom I would have lost.''
The match, which began in bright sunlight and concluded 5 hours, 14 minutes later in darkness, was a repeat of Nadal's victory over Coria in the Monte Carlo Masters final last month.
``I thought that sooner or later he would give up, or at least ease up,'' Coria said. ``But he kept responding with incredible shots, shots that few people would have been able to come up with.''
Nadal ate a bowl of pasta as he answered questions in the post-match press conference, but he would not acknowledge his fatigue, joking that he only felt tired ``in the toes'' after the fourth set.
Coria was not in a joking mood.
``It's a little unsatisfying to run for five hours and lose by two points,'' he said. ``But I lost to a great player that played a great match.

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