Roger Federer became the first Madrid Open champion at the new Caja Magica venue in 2009, beating Rafael Nadal in straight sets. A year later, the Swiss challenged the Spaniard again in the duel for the title, advancing to the 26th Masters 1000 final after beating David Ferrer 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
It was Roger's tenth win over David in as many meetings, and he did so after fending off three of four break point opportunities and securing two return games from nine chances. Federer was the more aggressive player, firing 35 winners and unforced errors and forcing nearly 40 errors from the Spaniard to drop him with a single break in the decider.
As expected, Roger prevailed in the shorter rallies, up to four shots, building a huge advantage and keeping in touch with David in the longer exchanges to come out on top and remain undefeated in the Caja Magica. Ferrer fended off three break chances at 1-1 and closed the match with a running forehand winner to give the crowd some cheer.
Federer created a break chance at 4-3 with a perfect dropshot, and Ferrer saved it with an ace. The Spaniard fended off another two break chances to build a 5-4 lead. On the other hand, Roger only dropped one point in five service games, delivering quick serves and comfortable at-bats and hoping for more return opportunities in the closing stages.
Nalbandian on facing Roger Federer
David Nalbandian has said that beating the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer made him confident of beating them again. "Beating all three guys (in the same tournament), didn't happen before, didn't happen until now.
Was incredible week. I was honestly playing very good last few months before arriving here. Didn't get lot of results. Here I struggled in the first few rounds. I saved match points, I think, second or third round. And after that everything was going unreal.
I played incredible incredible tennis. Here there's a little bit altitude high. Where I live, it's a little high as well. I got used to playing in those conditions. Event before was indoors, hardcourt, so I felt even better.
I played some of my best tennis that week. I won here, and I won Paris as well. It was incredible." Nalbandian added that familiarity with Federer's playing style, having played with him in the juniors, helped him a lot in his career, adding: "I always think I can beat Federer because we play juniors all the time.
So everytime I went on court, I knew I (would have) a lot of chances. I knew he didn't like to play against me as well. Both know it's going to be a very tough match. Both know whoever's going to play better will win.
I don't respect Roger Federer like everybody else because we played from juniors. We don't have that respect for each other. And that's a huge advantage for me."