2005 SHANGHAI MASTERS CUP
Roger Federer v David Nalbandian
6-7, 6-7, 6-2,6-1,7-6
David Nalbandian, only invited to the year end masters cup when Roddick had to pull out, scored a huge upset in the finals against Federer to end the Swiss player's two-year reign as champion at the Tennis Masters Cup.
Nalbandian claimed the biggest win of his career in a tiebreaker after 4 hours, 33 minutes. Federer had won his last 24 finals and 35 straight matches.
He had been seeking a third straight trophy at the year-end event, playing his first tournament since an ankle injury six weeks ago.
Nalbandian, who won a car and $1.4 million, praised Federer, his longtime rival from junior days. The Argentine, with the win moves up to sixth in the final ATP rankings for 2005.
"You played an incredible match as usual Roger," said the Argentine, who lifted his fourth career title at one of the biggest venues in the game.
"After knowing you a long time - don't worry, you'll win a lot more trophys. Let me keep this one."
Federer, the year end points champion won the first two sets but ran out of steam in the third and fourth. Federer pulled out the first 2 sets, but it took too much out of him and he told a trainer that he has nothing left in his legs. But, as a true champion, he stayed in the match and almost gutted out a victory.
Federer looked like pulling it out as he recovered from 0-4 in the fifth, only to fail when he had the chance to serve it out leading 6-5 when Nalbandian blasted a winner down the line. This 5 set marathon did not close out the year on the winning note that Federer is used to, but it showed his heart and will to win even when hurt. It will also get him fired up for the next year... so his opponents should all be wary! A fantastic end to the 2005 tennis year.
2005 ATP YEAR END STANDINGS
1st Federer, R. 1345
2nd Nadal, R. 953
3rd Roddick, A. 617
4th Hewitt, L. 498
5th Davydenko, N. 478
6th Nalbandian, D. 474
7th Agassi, A. 455
8th Coria, G. 438
9th Ljubicic, I. 436
10th Gaudio, G. 410
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