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Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Sunday, 27 April 2008 14:01 UK

Federer v Nadal as it happened

Monte Carlo Masters

Final result:


5-7 5-7


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By Phil Harlow

Second set:

1602: "Well done Nadal - first championship of 2008 - most players would've given up at 4-0."
noname on 606.

1559: A fantastic match for the neutral to watch - but what will it do to Federer's confidence? The world number one has now lost seven of his eight meetings with Nadal on clay.

Federer is working with a new coach, and the new approach did seem to pay dividends at times. Can he take heart from that? Or will he be thinking that there's no way past this amazing 21-year-old?

Federer 5-7 5-7 Nadal
This is a battle of wills - and the indomitable Nadal wins it. Federer goes 40-30 up thanks to an awesome serve but a reaction volley goes past the baseline to bring up deuce.

It's nip-and-tuck, but a wide forehand gives Nadal match point and a long backhand hands his opponent an incredible fourth Monte Carlo Masters title in a row.

The Spaniard drops to his knees in celebration and then jogs in to shake hands with a crestfallen Federer at the net.

1551: "Federer's level has dropped by no more than 10% and suddenly he is being humiliated. Incredible what difference a few per cent make."
NoRtHeRnMiDz┐ on 606.

Federer 5-7 5-6 Nadal
The momentum is all with Nadal. He holds to love with some brutal shots that make Federer look ordinary. I know where my money would be if I had time to put a bet on...

Federer 5-7 5-5 Nadal
Top play from both players as Federer finally stops the rot by holding serve.

There were a couple of shots of outright genius from Federer, including a volley at full stretch with his back turned on the ball. Nadal also plays some breathtaking shots, but Federer just about does enough.

Federer 5-7 4-5 Nadal
Nadal wins his fifth game in a row in one of the most impressive turnarounds you're ever likely to see in sport, nevermind tennis.

Federer is still playing some nice stuff on occasions, but he just seems powerless to do anything about it. A backhand, played at full stretch well behind, goes into the net from Federer and he will have to serve to stay in the match now.

1539: "Nadal has just come back like a freight train, this is incredible!!"
kingachilles on 606.

Federer 5-7 4-4 Nadal
This is an incredible turnaround, just incredible. Nadal goes 40-0 up on his opponent's serve as Federer's majestic form of just a few minutes ago seems to desert him.

A misjudged backhand down the line goes wide and we're back on serve. You have to take your hat off to Nadal though. How many players would still think they had a chance at 4-0 down to the world number one?

Federer 5-7 4-3 Nadal
Great game from Nadal as he holds serve again. The next game is going to test Federer's skills and resolve to the limit.

Federer 5-7 4-2 Nadal
Nadal goes 30-0 up on Federer's serve, but a magnificent second serve gets the world number one up and running.

But Nadal keeps the pressure up and is rewarded for his commitment to a set most players would have given up as a bad job. Federer goes long at break point down. Surely this set can't escape his grasp though, can it?

1525: "Federer is treating Nadal to a lesson in clay court tennis at the moment."
Anon via text

Federer 5-7 4-1 Nadal
Both players are still giving this everything. Nadal, stung by what has happened in this set so far, finally holds serve with some vicious hitting from the back of the court. Federer throws in an exquisite winner for good measure, and the set is still firmly in his control.

Federer 5-7 4-0 Nadal
This is just incredible to watch - Federer is in absolutely sensational form. He goes 40-0 up, with his first ace of the match helping him on his way. Nadal wins one point, but Federer seals the game.

Federer 5-7 3-0 Nadal
Federer has just played one of the best games of his superlative career. Everything he touches is coming off, with one backhand - played on the rise and with the minimum of backlift - drawing gasps of admiration from the crowd.

He breaks Nadal's serve to love. Absolutely brilliant.

Federer 5-7 2-0 Nadal
Federer is suddenly playing his best tennis of the match. A great stretch volley at the net puts him 30-0 up and a glorious forehand on the next point takes him within sight of consolidating the break.

Nadal produces some breathtaking shots to close to 40-30, but Federer seals the game after the Spaniard can only put a difficult backhand into the net.

Federer 5-7 1-0 Nadal
Impressive start from Federer as he instantly puts the disappointment of the last set behind him. He breaks Nadal in the first game of the set. We've still got a match on here, don't worry about that.

1509: "Nadal will go down as the greatest clay courter of all time - even though there's only Federer that can challenge him."
singhsta2006 on 606

First set:

Federer 5-7 Nadal
A fantastic two-handed backhand down the line puts Nadal 30-0 up as the set gets serious. Federer wins the next point but then goes long after a lengthy rally to give Nadal two break points.

A slightly bizarre point sees Federer play a nothing shot into the middle of the court, giving Nadal every chance to put the ball away. The world number two obliges and Federer loses a set in which he broke serve twice. A massive psychological blow for the world number one.

1501: "Federer's performance on serve will be crucial to him getting a win that could possibly define his season and even his career."
Big talk from thebeautifulgameturnedugly on 606.

Federer 5-6 Nadal
Nadal becomes the first player to hold to love. Not a bad time to do it either. Can Federer follow suit and take us into a tie-break?

Federer 5-5 Nadal
Federer looks to be comfortably absorbing the pressure as he races into a 40-0 lead. But Nadal puts some doubts in his opponent's mind - helped by a slight hesitancy at the net by Federer - with three smart points in a row to go to deuce.

But once again, Federer finds what is required as two tremendous first serves ensures he holds serve.

Federer 4-5 Nadal
The first ace of the match, and it really was unreturnable, takes Nadal 40-15 up. A brief exchange at the net goes Nadal's way and the game is his. The pressure is back on Federer now.

Federer 4-4 Nadal
What is going on out there? Nadal goes 30-0 up after a surprising mishit from Federer, and three points later the Spaniard has broken back for a second time. It's almost like a women's game, dare I say it...

Federer 4-3 Nadal
The drop shot is becoming a real weapon for Federer. The world number one goes 40-0 up on his opponent's serve courtesy of a delightfully worked point that leaves Nadal chasing shadows.

Nadal saves the first break point, but a lob on the next point goes well clear of the baseline to give Federer his second break of the set.

Federer 3-3 Nadal
Federer smashes a relatively easy chance into the net to allow Nadal to take the game to deuce.

A beautiful shot down the line gives Nadal a break point, but Federer suddenly ups his game with three classy points in a row to hold. This is shaping up very nicely indeed.

1435: "Federer needs some first serves if he's going to win. He missed four or five in his first service game."
NoRtHeRnMiDz┐ on 606

Federer 2-3 Nadal
Federer takes Nadal to deuce with some incredibly accurate shots to the very outer reaches of the court.

But Nadal keeps it together and holds serve again as Federer's returns both go long.

Federer 2-2 Nadal
A comfortable hold for Federer. He shows great athleticism to put away a tricky overhead smash, but otherwise he is untroubled. Intriguing stuff so far.

Federer 1-2 Nadal
Nadal hold his serve as Federer goes wide of the tramlines with an improvised flick after a cunning drop shot.

But there's enough in the play so far to give Federer plenty of encouragement. He seems to have plenty of time on the ball - doesn't he always though? - and is getting somewhere with moving Nadal around.

Federer 1-1 Nadal
Well Federer's lead in the set didn't last very long. Nadal breaks back at the first time of asking with four points in a row. Something tells me we could be in for a reasonably decent match here...

Federer 1-0 Nadal
Great start for Federer as he goes 30-0 up on Nadal's serve. A fearsome forehand down the line from Nadal gets his fans going, but on the next point Federer comes to the net and puts away a volley to give himself two break points.

Unlike some of their other meetings on clay, Federer takes it at the first time of asking as a Nadal error gives his opponent a morale-boosting early break. Blimey.

1412: Hold on to your hats. Off we go...

1409: "I really just hope that both players come out onto court pumped up and play great tennis. Nadal is the favourite but I have to pick Federer."
The absolutely unbiased Federerprotege on 606.

1403: The players are out on court in Monte Carlo, enjoying a little practice before the serious action gets under way. Nadal looks very much at the races and fully focussed. Federer actually looks fairly relaxed, for what it's worth.

1350: Afternoon all, we've got the two best players in the world going head-to-head in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters. So who is your money on?

It's the third year in a row that these two - Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in case you weren't quite sure - have faced each other in the final here.

Nadal has the edge on clay, no doubt about it. The Spaniard has a fantastic record of six wins and just one defeat against Federer on the surface.

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