Federer ends Nadal's streak, gets fourth Hamburg title
May 20, 2007 - 8:50:40 PM

Hamburg, May 20 - World number 1 Roger Federer ended the clay court winning streak of Rafael Nadal after 81 matches when he beat the Spaniard 2-6, 6-2, 6-0 Sunday for his fourth title at the Hamburg Masters.

The Swiss is the first man to beat Nadal on clay since Russian Igor Andreev on April 8, 2005, in the Valencia quarterfinals. Nadal's streak was the longest on any surface in the sport and gave him 13 titles.

Federer won the last eight games as he beat Nadal for the first time in their sixth meeting on the surface in 1 hour 54 minutes.

Federer added the 2007 Hamburg title to the previous ones he won in 2002, 2004 and 2005. He has a 9-0 record in finals played in Germany and now stands 17-0 in Hamburg, having not played there in 2006.

The victory ended a four-tournament title drought for Federer, which culminated last week in Rome when he crashed in the third round and then sacked his part-time coach Tony Roche.

The big success will also boost Federer's morale going into the French Open, which starts May 27 and is the only Grand Slam Federer has not won.

Federer got 340,000 euros - for his 48th career title while Nadal received 170,000 euros.

Things didn't look good for the Swiss at first as Nadal controlled the opening set, which he took with breaks for 2-1 and 4-1.

But Federer than raised his first-serve percentage and his game in general to stage a remarkable comeback. He only allowed Nadal onto the scoreboard twice more and wrapped up matters on his first match point when Nadal hit a ground stroke into the net.

Federer pumped his fists in delight as Nadal was blanked in a set for the first time since the Buenos Aires quarterfinals in February 2005 when he lost to Argentine Gaston Gaudio.

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