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- Runaway Test win for South Africa in India
- Olympian Stone pounces at Leopard Creek
- SA team extend lead in Indian Test
- Blitzboks blast past Kiwis to reach Dubai semi-finals
Moodie makes Madrid final
- Updated: May 18, 2009
South Africa’s Wesley Moodie and Sweden’s Simon Aspelin were beaten in the final of the Madrid Open in Spain on Sunday.
This was the couple’s first ATP World Tour final and they lost to Canada’s Daniel Nestor and Serbian Nenad Zimonjic 4-6 4-6.
But the doubles final was all but forgotten as Roger Federer notched a oh-so-rare rare claycourt defeat on archrival Rafael Nadal, stunning the world number one 6-4 6-4 in the singles final.
Nadal was bidding to become the first man to win all three clay Masters events in one year after his victories in Monte Carlo and Rome but slipped to only his fifth loss on his favoured surface in 155 matches since 2005.
Federer, who won his first title of the season, has lost to Nadal in the final of the French Open the past three years and this victory will boost the Swiss world number two’s hopes he can win a 14th grand slam singles title at Roland Garros starting later this month.
‘Maybe a couple of weeks ago I was still a little bit unsure about my game and not sure whether I could win the French and now that’s changed,’ Federer said.
Nadal had come through the longest three-set match in a Masters Series event on Saturday, saving three match points and taking more than four hours to beat Novak Djokovic.
Nadal said the faster conditions in the higher altitude of the Spanish capital had suited Federer’s game and acknowledged that Saturday’s epic semi-final had sapped his strength.
‘Always it’s better to have a match that lasts one-and-a-half hours the day before than four hours,’ he told a news conference.
‘But that’s sport and some days it happens to one and another time to someone else. Roger today did really well. He played amazing around the court and was really fast. I can just congratulate him. I didn’t play my best tennis but he played much better than me.’