Madrid Flashback: Roger Federer tops Fernando Gonzalez to write history



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Madrid Flashback: Roger Federer tops Fernando Gonzalez to write history

Between 2004-2006, Roger Federer and Fernando Gonzalez met nine times, with the Swiss prevailing 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 final of Madrid Masters, claiming the tenth title of the season and 19th straight victory after previously conquering the US Open and Tokyo.

It was the 12th Masters 1000 crown for Roger, 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, dominating against Gonzalez in sets two and three to wrap up the triumph and celebrate the 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, who was capable of staying in touch with a great rival only in the opening set, struggling on both the first and second serve and facing 13 break chances in total to give Roger plenty opportunities on the return.

The Swiss grabbed a break in the opener's 12th game and never looked back, stealing 12 of the next 13 games for an impressive victory and another title in his third brilliant season in a row. Federer found the way to tame Gonzalez's serve and forehand and was the only player on the court in sets two and three, dominating the shortest, mid-range and most extended rallies to earn the victory fair and square.

There were no opportunities for a break in the opening 11 games, and Fernando wasted three game chances at 5-6, losing serve after a smash winner from Federer, who claimed the opener in 48 minutes.

In 2006, Roger Federer claimed the tenth title of the season in Madrid.

Roger had to receive a medical timeout on his right leg, although that didn't affect his game, hitting three winners at the beginning of the second set and four more in the third game to stay ahead, breaking Gonzalez a few minutes later to move 3-1 in front.

A forehand winner pushed Federer 4-1 up, securing another break in the next game 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 towards 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, losing serve in the first game before creating a break chance in game two that Roger repelled with a service winner to keep his serve intact.

Stunning forehand crosscourt winner pushed the Swiss further ahead at 1-1, cementing the fifth straight break in the fifth game and serving for the first Madrid title. Gonzalez created his second break chance in that game but Federer stayed calm, repelling it with a volley winner and sealing the deal with a service winner to celebrate the tenth title of the season, becoming the first player with that many crowns in three consecutive years.