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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 June 2007, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Nadal victory ends Federer dream
By Piers Newbery

Rafael Nadal
Nadal has taken his career record at Roland Garros to 21-0
Rafael Nadal won a third straight French Open title on Sunday and ended Roger Federer's hopes of completing the set of Grand Slam titles.

The 21-year-old Spaniard came through 6-3 4-6 6-3 6-4 against the world number one in three hours 10 minutes.

Nadal becomes the first man since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to win three successive titles at Roland Garros.

Federer had been hoping to join Rod Laver and Don Budge as the third man to hold all four major titles at once.

Nadal had beaten Federer in the previous two years at Roland Garros, including last year's final, and went into the match as favourite.

But it was Federer who took the initiative, earning two break points in game four and five more in a 14-minute game six without managing to capitalise.

I'm sorry for Federer, he's a terrific player and a great competitor

Rafael Nadal

It was almost inevitable that Nadal would take advantage and so he did, breaking to love in the following game before saving yet another three break points in game eight.

The first set slipped away from Federer and after wasting 10 break points and serving at 37% a sharp improvement was required from the Swiss.

A low-key second set was interrupted by the first sustained flash of Federer brilliance as he twice attacked the net and then found a winning forehand to break for a 4-3 lead.

And when the world number one recovered from 15-40 in the following game and went on to take the set, a classic final appeared on the cards.

But maintaining the level necessary to trouble Nadal has confounded everyone at Roland Garros and Federer cracked at the start of the third set.

606: DEBATE

A thumping forehand down the line helped Nadal break for 2-0 and from that moment there was an inevitability about the result.

As in his semi-final against Novak Djokovic, the second seed got stronger and stronger as his opponent wilted and he served out comfortably for a two-sets-to-one lead.

Nadal made the decisive move early in the fourth, chasing down a drop shot before Federer buried a forehand in the net to drop serve in game three.

The end came predictably enough as Federer failed to threaten a recovery and Nadal extended his unbeaten run in Paris by serving out to love, falling to the court in joy before clambering through the stands to find his family.

"I'm sorry for Federer, he's a terrific player and a great competitor," said Nadal.

"The first set was very important, he had a lot of break points. It's just a dream to win here and I've got to keep working to get better and better."

Federer admitted: "It was an incredible effort from Rafa once again. Of course I am disappointed but I was playing a great player.

"I had so many opportunities but I couldn't take them unfortunately."

SEE ALSO
Federer v Nadal as it happened
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Lloyd on Nadal
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Roland Garros photos
10 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Tennis on the BBC
22 May 07 |  Tennis
Contact the BBC TV tennis team
24 May 07 |  Tennis
Women's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis
Men's French Open draw
25 May 07 |  Tennis


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