Recognized among the most talented players born in the early 80s, Roger Federer and David Nalbandian were fearsome rivals since the junior days, with the Argentine winning the first five encounters on the Tour between 2002-03.
Federer had turned the tide in the next four matches before David grabbed that incredible Masters Cup final in 2005 for one of his best victories ever. Roger had the edge on clay in Rome and Roland Garros next spring, and their 13th encounter came in Madrid on October 21, with two great rivals fighting for the place in the final.
David loved to play at this event but couldn't find the way towards the second final in three years. Federer delivered a masterclass performance to thump the opponent 6-4, 6-0 in 59 minutes, advancing into the 16th Masters 1000 final and the first in Madrid.
Super aggressive Federer fired almost 30 winners and left Nalbandian on less than ten, dominating in every segment and playing better and better as the match progressed to cross the finish line in no time. The Swiss lost 12 points in eight service games, suffering one break of serve and erasing that deficit with a brilliant performance on the return, taking 56% of the points behind David's initial shot and earning five breaks from ten opportunities to march into the title match.
Roger kicked off the encounter with a hold at love, closing the third game with another good serve and landing a return winner in the next to open a 3-1 lead.
In 2006, Roger Federer defeated David Nalbandian in 59 minutes in Madrid.
Three winners carried the Swiss towards the fifth game, doing everything right on the court ahead of the seventh game when he got broken at 15 after a volley error.
David got back on the scoreboard and leveled the score at 4-4 after fending off three break chances in the eighth game. Losing the edge a bit in the last ten minutes, Federer brought the ninth game home with an ace and broke David at 15 a few minutes later to secure the opener 6-4 and gather momentum ahead of set number two.
He opened it with four winners and clinched a break in game two with a backhand return winner, forging a set and a break lead and looking good to carry the victory home from there. Three winners pushed Roger 3-0 up before he grabbed another break, firing from both wings and outplaying Nalbandian with deep and precise groundstrokes.
Driven by those, Federer landed three winners in the fifth game and stole David's serve at love in the next to seal the deal and secure the place in the title match, improving his 2006 Masters 1000 tally to 33-3!