David Nalbandian beat Roger Federer 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 to win his first title in nearly 18 months with victory on Sunday at the Madrid Masters.
The Argentine who is ranked 25th in the world after going it alone a year before taking on Hernan Gumy as his coach over the summer, becomes only the third man in 14 years to beat the world numbers one, two and three at the same event.
Boris Becker was the first in Stockholm, 1994, while Serb Novak Djokivic, Nalbandian's Madrid semi-final victim, did it in August.
Nalbandian achieved his piece of history with Madrid wins over Federer, Rafael Nadal and Djokovic.
"I'm extremely contented to beat the world No. 1," said an overjoyed Nalbandian, who climbed into the stands to greet his box in victory and later on sprayed champagne during the trophy ceremony.
"Roger and I have a long history and I think that influenced the match," he said.
After dominating in their early days Nalbandian rose up again in 1 hour 48 minutes to prove that he can be the the Swiss player's worst nightmare.
The South American won their first five ATP encounters before Federer swept eight of their most recent nine.
The one the Swiss lost: the 2005 Masters Cup final in Shanghai.
"He served well, I was quite surprised with how well he served," said Federer, whose last loss indoors came against the Argentine in Shanghai.
"He came back strong and played well in the end," Federer said.
"He was a better player all in all. I was struggling after the first set to play aggressive for some reason. He played tough and didn't miss any more," he said.
"I couldn't play way I wanted to. It was a pity, he played a great tournament," Federer said.
Nalbandian last won a title in May last year, on clay in Estoril, Portugal.
He lost the Madrid final in 2004 to Marat Safin.
Federer had been bidding for his 15th career Masters Cup shield.
Even an unusual second-set interruption caused by the rogue leak of a watering system hose used for courtside flowers could not derail Nalbandian's concentration.
Federer and his opponent were forced to stop in the fourth game for five minutes, with the Swiss ace 30-0 up, while the problem was fixed.
winning streak ends
Federer saw the end of a 17-match winning streak dating to the final of Montreal in August when he lost to Djokovic.
Federer swept up the first set in only 29 minutes but then began to fade in the face of the Nalbandian attack.
"It was an extremely hard set," said Nalbandian of the opener. "But I tightened the teeth and I began to play more strongly."
"Things came out fine. Today I played incredible, and of course that helps," he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very