2006 DUBAI OPEN
ROGER FEDERER v RAFAEL NADAL
Federer came out playing some of his best tennis ever, and it looked like a possible easy victory for the Swiss player.
But Federer began to miss some shots and Nadal, with his fieryintensity, began to storm back into the match.
In the third set, it was anybody's match, but Federer made errorson some crucial points and Nadal closed it out with authority.
He was playing too well in the first set, very aggressive. I could do nothing," Nadal said. "In the second, I told myself just to hold my serve,
and try and be aggressive on his serve and hopefully get a break. "I also applied more topspin on my forehand.
Once I won the second game after being 0-30 down, my confidence also went up."
"I think Nadal deserved to win because he played so consistent. I started off really well, but sprayed a little toward the end," Federer said.
"But I am very happy with my game right now. And hopefully, I will pay him back soon
The challenge, in the form of the 19 year-old Spaniard, is now in full view of Federer. Federer has dominated the ATP Tour for over
a year, but he has a losing record against Nadal, even on hardcourt surface.
Federer has been able to coast to some victories and even win majors playing less than his best tennis. But now, maybe he has a rival worthy
of challenging him on every surface. Will this bring out the best tennis yet from the champion?