Rafael Nadal vs. Roger Federer: Final Quotes and Stats After WTF
Roger Federer won his record equalling fifth season-ending championship on Sunday with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over world number one Rafael Nadal. The other two players who have achieved the feat were Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.
"I'm really thrilled the way I played all week," Federer said. "To win a fifth time is obviously amazing, for the third time in a different place after Houston and Shanghai.
This was Nadal's and Federer's 22nd meeting since 2004. The Swiss maestro's win was only the second win over the Spaniard in two and a half years. The whole final lasted only one hour and 37 minutes. This was also the first time since 1986 that the worlds top two players played at the season finale.
"I'm just really happy the way I was able to finish the season in style, playing some of my best tennis," Federer said. "Then obviously beating Rafa in the final makes it extra special because of the year he's had."
The Swiss also added, "Today was another great match with some fantastic rallies. I know it doesn't take anything away from Rafa's great season, because it was magnificent."
The 16 time Grand Slam champ completed the tournament without losing a match, therefore added $1.6 million to his career earnings.
The Australian Open champ, overshadowed this year by Rafael Nadal, gave credit to Paul Annacone and his team for the resurgence of his play and confidence after a bad clay and grass court season for his standards.
"First of all, I had to regain some confidence," Federer pointed out. "That only comes through winning matches. After having somewhat of a disappointing clay season, Halle, Wimbledon stretch, where I wasn't able to win any tournaments and didn't play my best tennis, played a bit passive, it was important that I was able to pick up my game.
"I started moving better, started feeling well physically and mentally. I'm sure Paul has helped in this regard. So has Severin. He's helped as well over the last few years."
After Federer's loss at Wimbledon he has compiled a 35-4 record with six finals and four titles.
Rafael Nadal was contesting in his ninth final of the season. After a hugely successful year Nadal was maybe less hurt than usual after his loss to Roger Federer.
"This has been a fantastic year and probably my most emotional," Nadal, who since April has won seven titles including three Grand Slams, "But when Roger's playing like this it's very difficult to stop him."
After an epic semi-final match with Andy Murray that lasted for over three hours, the Spaniard refused to blame his loss on fatigue.
"I think is not the right moment to talk about that," the Mallorca native said when asked if he was suffering from tiredness. "The thing is everybody saw the match yesterday, so everybody's free to think his own opinion. But I'm not going to say I lost the match because I was tired." the Spaniard said.
"What I'm going to say and what I feel is I lost the match because I played against a very good Roger Federer on one of his favourite surfaces. When he's playing like this, it's very difficult to stop him. I had chances, but not enough."
In a year where everyone was questioning whether Nadal could get back to his best after an 11 month title drought he was pleased to what he had accomplished this year at the O2 arena in London.
"This was a fantastic week for me," Nadal said. "Beating four top-eight players in the same week on a difficult surface for me. I think that's never happened in the past.
"There were difficult moments in the beginning, but after a tough time, I was able to play with ambition all the season and I managed to have chances to win and keep winning.
"Once I won the first tournament in Monte Carlo, everything was easier, all the pressure and anxiety left and I started to play really well."
After his Monte Carlo win, the clay court specialist went on to win the other two Masters Series titles in Rome and Madrid. He then won the French Open and Wimbledon back to back for the second time in his career. He then won the only Grand Slam that had eluded him, the US Open, to complete the career slam.
It is the sixth consecutive year that either Nadal or Federer have dominated the season with the most titles and calender earnings.
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