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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2005, 18:00 GMT 19:00 UK
Nadal hits back for Madrid title
Rafael Nadal
World number two Rafael Nadal produced a stunning fightback from two sets down to defeat Ivan Ljubicic 3-6 2-6 6-3 6-4 7-6 in the final of the Madrid Masters.

The 19-year-old Spaniard looked set to disappoint his home crowd as he struggled to match his Croatian rival.

But he turned his game around, much to the delight of the 10,000 spectators gathered in the Spanish capital.

Nadal eventually clinched the fourth Masters title of his career when he took the final-set tie-break 7-3.

"It was an incredibly difficult victory," said an ecstatic Nadal.

"The only reason why I can explain that I managed to turn the game around was the support of the fans here in Madrid.

"They have 80 per cent of the responsibility for the victory."

This has been an incredible year, a year to remember
Rafael Nadal
Nadal's victory wrapped up his 11th ATP title of the season, which only world number one Roger Federer has matched in 2005.

The pair have also won all eight of this year's Masters Series events between them.

Nadal's win also took his winning record to an ATP tour-best 79 matches for 2005, two more than Federer and the most by a teenager since Mats Wilander won 82 matches in 1983.

But Nadal, one of just three men to have beaten Federer this year, insists he has set himself almost too high a standard.

"I think this year is almost impossible to repeat," he said.

"I'm going to start next year in high spirits, but without pressure because this has been an incredible year, a year to remember, to keep at home like a picture you hang on the wall."




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