Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Gamewatch Federer v Nadal (Masters Cup semi-final, Shanghai)

Result: R FEDERER (Swi) 6-4 7-5 R NADAL (Spa)

GAME-BY-GAME UPDATES By Alex Perry

Second set:
Federer 7-5 Nadal
What a performance from Federer and what a shame that Nadal cannot force a deciding set. Federer claims victory with the point of the match as he somehow retrieves a Nadal drop and fires a winner into the corner of the court.

Federer 6-5 Nadal
Federer earns himself at least tie-break as he gets back to his dominant best.

Federer 5-5 Nadal
Could we be witnessing another Federer-Nadal classic? The Spaniard shows typical grit to battle back from 0-30 down and is forced to save two match-points to keep the match alive.

Federer 5-4 Nadal
Nadal is unable to put any pressure on Federer as the errors remain in his game, and the world number one holds comfortably. Nadal will now have to hold to stay in the match.

Federer 4-4 Nadal
As the tension rises, the standard falls for the first time. The first four points are shared thanks to four unforced errors, and Federer hits a forehand long to leave Nadal 40-30 up. A fizzing, wide serve from Nadal seals the game.

Federer 4-3 Nadal
Federer fires down two more aces as he too holds comfortably. If he can break Nadal now, Federer will be serving for a place in the final.

Federer 3-3 Nadal
Nadal holds to 15 as the match enters its defining stage.

Federer 3-2 Nadal
Even Federer cannot sustain such quality for a whole match, and Nadal earns only his second break-point of the match. But Federer wakes up and hits a monster forehand that flashes past Nadal for a winner to end the Spaniard’s hopes and then completes his hold.
Federer 2-2 Nadal
Nadal is changing his game up and even comes to the net to volley, giving Federer the chance to whip a forehand winner round him and onto the corner of the court. It leaves the Spaniard facing two break-points but he digs deep, with a little help from a rare Federer error, to level at 2-2.

Federer 2-1 Nadal
Nadal is showing flashes of his brilliance, wrong-footing Federer with a clever switch-up to take the opening point. But it’s business as usual after that and Federer holds.

Federer 1-1 Nadal
Nadal cannot afford to be slow out of the blocks in this second set, and he holds to 15 despite a double fault.

Federer 1-0 Nadal
Federer starts the second set just as he did the first – with an ace – and he asserts his dominance with a love game.

First set:

Federer 6-4 Nadal
Nadal has upped the tempo, but Federer shows his defence is up their with his peerless attack and he rallies to put the pressure back on the Spaniard. Nadal finds himself 15-40 down, despite dictating play, and he nets a backhand to hand Federer the set.

Federer 5-4 Nadal
Who’d have believed it? Federer looks a little tight from the start, and three straight errors, including a mistimed volley that wouldn’t have looked out of place in my local park, leave him 0-40 down. Nadal makes it eight straight points to break back at the crucial moment.

Federer 5-3 Nadal
Nadal finally enjoys a comfortable service game. It’s a contest now, but Federer will serve for the first set.

Federer 5-2 Nadal
With confidence growing, Nadal sees a chink in Federer’s armour by moving 15-30 ahead and sniffing a break. But Federer pulls out a big serve and completes his hold.

Federer 4-2 Nadal
Even when Nadal opens up a 40-0 lead he cannot be confident about holding comfortably. Federer pulls back two points but Nadal holds and will now feel he is back in the match.

Federer 4-1 Nadal
Nadal is targeting Federer’s backhand – understandable given the potency of the world number one’s forehand – but the Swiss is hitting the ball so crisply on both flanks that tactics are immaterial right now.

Federer 3-1 Nadal
Federer is dominating the rallies with incredibly clean hitting and it is all Nadal can do to get a foothold in the match. He slips from 30-0 to 30-40, but just manages to get on the scoreboard in typically tenacious style.

Federer 3-0 Nadal
Nadal has a glimmer of hope at 30-30, but Federer is dictating play and does not allow his young foe a chance to break back.

Federer 2-0 Nadal
Two winners from Federer and a Nadal double-fault leave the Spaniard facing three break-points and he has to find the lines on two straight shots to save the first. Federer then mishits to give Nadal hope, but he has the Spaniard on the chase at 30-40 and fires an inside-out forehand winner to seal the break.

Federer 1-0 Nadal
It’s a white-hot start as Federer opens with an ace and Nadal replies with a brilliant winner to make it 15-15. Federer fires two more aces before Nadal nets a backhand to hand his opponent the opening game.

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