2007 HAMBURG MASTERS
RAFAEL NADAL v LLEYTON HEWITT
2-6, 6-3, 7-5
Rafael Nadal had to come from a set down at the Hamburg Masters overnight to win a tough clash with a resurgent Lleyton Hewitt.
Nadal usually makes his clay court matches look easy, but Hewitt made things difficult on this day.
Hewitt had taken some time off to heal from some injuries, and his play looked much improved. Hewitt's first serve is a huge weapon,
but he often struggles to get more than 50 percent of them in play.
With his serve clicking in Hamburg, he had blown some opponents off the court and he seemed to have renewed confidence in his forehand.
A few months ago, Hewitt struggled to put depth on his shots and his serve often faltered. But even on the slow clay surface,
he was able to keep Nadal in the back of the court for most of the match.
Nadal had to expend a huge physical effort to overcome Hewitt, andhe will have to recover quickly to be ready for the meeting against Federer in the final
Nadal's AMAZING winning streak on clay now runs to 81 consecutive matches, has brought him 13 tournaments, including two French Opens, and he hasn't lost on clay since April of 2005!
"Lleyton played very aggressively, keeping the ball low and that made it very hard for me," Nadal said.
The Australian former world number one hit a series of ferocious winners as he broke twice in the first set but the match turned when he dropped serve at the start of the second.
Nadal quickly pounced on his opponent's mental lapse to force a decider and he was quickly ahead in that, too.
Hewitt fought back with the determination he is known for, and saved three match points on the Nadal serve in game 10. Hewitt had break point chances in the final game too,
but Nadal finished the match off with a winner to book his place in the final.