Madrid Flashback: Roger Federer tops Fernando Gonzalez and writes history
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 1674
Roger Federer and Fernando Gonzalez met nine times between 2004 and 2006. The Swiss prevailed in every of those, overpowering the Chilean twice at Majors and six times at the Masters 1000 events. One of the encounters came on October 22, 2006, when Federer scored a 7-5, 6-1, 6-0 triumph in an hour and 48 minutes in the Madrid Masters final.
Roger claimed his tenth title of the season and 19th straight victory after conquering the US Open and Tokyo. It was Roger's 12th Masters 1000 crown, leaving Pete Sampras on 11 and increasing his lead over Rafael Nadal and the rest of the Tour.
Federer scored four straight-sets wins over Nicolas Massu, Robin Soderling (two tie breaks), Robby Ginepri and David Nalbandian to reach the title match in the Spanish capital. He dominated against Gonzalez in sets two and three to wrap up the triumph and celebrate his 43rd ATP crown at 25.
The Swiss fired 31 service winners and fended off both break points he faced to keep the pressure on Fernando. The Chilean stayed in touch with a great rival only in the opening set, struggling on the first and second serve and facing 13 break chances to give Roger plenty of opportunities on the return.
The Swiss grabbed a break in the opener's 12th game and never looked back. He stole 12 of the next 13 games for an impressive victory and another title in his third consecutive brilliant season. Federer found a way to tame Gonzalez's serve and forehand.
He dominated the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies to earn the victory fair and square. There were no opportunities for a break in the encounter's opening 11 games. Fernando wasted three game chances at 5-6 and lost serve after Roger's smash winner, as the Swiss claimed the opener in 48 minutes.
In 2006, Roger Federer claimed his tenth title of the season in Madrid.
Roger received a medical timeout on his right leg, although that did not affect his game. He hit three winners at the beginning of the second set and four more in the third game to stay ahead before breaking Gonzalez a few minutes later to move 3-1 in front.
A forehand winner pushed Roger 4-1 up, and he secured another break in the next one when Fernando's forehand landed long. Serving for the set at 5-1, Federer fired a backhand winner for a hold at love and two sets to love advantage, sailing toward the finish line.
Fernando received a medical timeout on his right arm ahead of the third set and had nothing more left in the tank. He lost serve in the first game before creating a break chance in game two that Roger repelled with a service winner.
A stunning forehand crosscourt winner pushed the Swiss further ahead at 1-1, and he cemented the fifth straight break in the fifth game and served for the first Madrid title. Gonzalez created his second break chance in that game.
However, Federer stayed calm and repelled it with a volley winner. World no. 1 sealed the deal with a service winner to celebrate his tenth title of the season, becoming the first player with that many crowns in three consecutive years.