Paris Flashback: Roger Federer falls to David Nalbandian

Tennis - Nalbandian prevailed over Federer in the 2007 third round

by Jovica Ilic
Paris Flashback: Roger Federer falls to David Nalbandian

Since his early ATP Tour days, Roger Federer was among the best players on an indoor court. Nonetheless, the Swiss failed to make a notable result at the Paris Masters in the first five trips to the French capital, reaching only two quarter-finals between 2000 and 2007.

After skipping the season's last Masters 1000 event for three straight years, Roger returned to Paris in 2007, seeking the title as world no. 1 and the winner of seven ATP titles earlier that year. In his first Paris Bercy matches since 2003, Roger defeated Ivo Karlovic in three sets and battled against David Nalbandian for a place in the quarter-final.

The Argentine entered his third Paris Masters tournament and produced the first notable run, beating Roger 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 42 minutes to enter the last eight. David toppled Roger in Madrid and scored another victory against the world's leading player under a roof, ousting the Swiss for the eighth time from 16 encounters.

Nalbandian claimed four points more than Federer despite serving at only 50% and suffering two breaks. The Argentine had 28 winners and 25 unforced errors. He seized 24 return points and converted them into three breaks to prevail in the decisive moments and end Roger's journey.

Federer held at love in the opening game and reached two deuces on the return in the next one. David grabbed that game to add his name to the scoreboard and secured a break a few minutes later when Roger played a loose forehand.

Nalbandian landed an ace in game six to confirm the advantage and fired another service winner to open a 4-2 gap.

David Nalbandian defeated Roger Federer in Paris 2007.

With momentum, the Argentine landed a forehand crosscourt winner to clinch another break in game seven and extend the gap.

Federer saved a set point in the next one and pulled one break back after Nalbandian's forehand mistake. The Swiss held at love in game nine and reduced the deficit to 5-4. The Argentine closed the opener in game ten with a forehand crosscourt winner and gathered a boost ahead of set number two.

Both players served well early on, and Federer opened a 4-3 advantage with a service winner. David survived deuces and forced Roger's error to level the score at 4-4 before increasing the pace on the return. He earned a break at love that pushed him a game away from the win.

Ready to fight until the end, Federer pulled the break back in the last moment to extend his chances, playing well and creating a set point on the return at 6-5. Nalbandian saved it with a volley winner and closed the game with a service winner to introduce a tie break.

The Argentine opened a 4-2 lead with another powerful serve and earned two match points following a couple of wild forehands from the Swiss. David sealed the deal on his serve at 6-3 thanks to another forehand error from world no. 1. Thus, he beat Federer at the second straight Masters 1000 event and remained in the title chase.

Roger Federer David Nalbandian