Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal found each other across the net after exactly one year. A year back Federer had defeated Nadal in the final of the Madrid Open and then gone on to win the French Open as well. Today, the story was different with Nadal winning in straight sets 6-4, 7-6.
Both players started shakily and exchanged service breaks, but gradually Nadal gained a break and upper hand in the first round finally winning it by 6-4 in just under an hour. Federer had only himself to blame as he failed to covert break points on a regular basis. Clearly, Nadal was unnerving Roger who was forced to change his game.In the second round, there was a tie break to force the issue and once again Federer had the early advantage by being up by 4-2. But, he blew away his chances repeatedly with unforced errors and Nadal finally won the tie break 7-5.
With this victory, Nadal has 18 Masters titles under his belt which is a world record. The Spaniard also has a psychological advantage over Federer going into the French Open and seems to be in imperious form. On the other hand , Roger Federer needs to fight his inner demons and up his game a bit in time for the French Open !