Paris Flashback: Roger Federer loses to David Nalbandian in straight sets



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Paris Flashback: Roger Federer loses to David Nalbandian in straight sets

Roger Federer was one of the best players on an indoor court ever since he stepped at the ATP Tour. Nonetheless, the Swiss was yet to make a notable result at the Paris Masters in the first five trips to the French capital, reaching only two quarter-finals between 2000-07.

After skipping the last Masters 1000 event of the season 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 match since 2003, Roger defeated Ivo Karlovic in three sets, battling against David Nalbandian for the place in the quarters.

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. 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, serving at only 50% and suffering two breaks. The Argentine had 28 winners and 25 unforced errors, seizing 24 return points and converting them into three breaks, prevailing in the decisive moments to 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 on the scoreboard and secured a break a few minutes later when Roger played a loose forehand.

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

In 2007, David Nalbandian scored the second straight victory over Roger Federer.

With momentum on his side, the Argentine landed a forehand crosscourt winner to clinch another break in game seven, moving closer to taking the opener.

Federer saved a set point in the eighth game and pulled one break back after a forehand mistake from Nalbandian, holding at love and reducing the deficit to 4-5. The Argentine closed the opener with a forehand crosscourt winner in game ten, gathering a boost ahead of set number two.

Both players served well in set number two, with Federer opening a 4-3 advantage with a service winner. David survived deuces and forced an error from Roger to level the score at 4-4, increasing the pace on the return and earning 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 very last moment to extend his chances, 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 had two match points following a couple of wild forehands from the Swiss. Serving at 6-3, David sealed the deal thanks to another forehand error from world no. 1, beating Federer at the second straight Masters 1000 event and remaining in the title chase.