Today the Guardian , one of the leading dailies in the U.K. published the following article on the Monte Carlo final. IMO the article acurately dissects yesterday's final in Monte-Carlo. The writer clerly feels that Nadal's attacking play forced Roger Federer into many errors, and it wasn't the case that Roger lost the match but more Nadal won through his own ability and skill.
"Monte Carlo MastersNadal blasts Federer aside to show who is the clay master
Steve Bierley in Monte Carlo
Monday April 24, 2006
Rafael Nadal, the boy who would be king, yesterday defeated the world No1 Roger Federer 6-2, 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 to retain his Master Series title and in the process recorded his fourth victory in five meetings against the Swiss, two of them this year.
These have been Federer's only losses in a season in which he has already won the Australian Open, his seventh grand slam, and the Masters Series titles in Indian Wells and Miami. But figuring out how to get the better of the 19-year-old, who defeated him in the final in Dubai two months ago, is becoming an increasingly knotty problem.
Federer had on Saturday suggested the more he played Nadal, the better it was for him: "He's quite one-dimensional." If this implied he felt he had discovered a way to tame the player described as "a beast" by Guillermo Coria last week, then he was rapidly disabused of such a notion.
It is the unadulterated intensity of Nadal's play, notably on clay, on which he has now gone 42 matches without defeat, a run bettered only by Guillermo Vilas (53) and Bjorn Borg (46) in the open era, that makes him such a fearsome opponent. In this respect Federer needed, at the very least, to stay with the youngster in the opening few games in order to impose himself later. Instead he went 4-0 down.
The bald statistics recorded 73 unforced errors by Federer, although how many of these were truly down to his own mistakes was a moot point. "He leaves me no choice but to go for winners because I am the man who is pressing," said Federer.
Nadal, the world No2, has a remarkable capacity to retrieve the most vicious of ground-strokes and is the only player who is able to do it consistently on the Federer forehand, that most formidable of weapons.
This and the Spaniard's extraordinary ability to transform defence into to attack, as if by the flick of switch, makes him doubly dangerous on clay, where the relative slowness of the surface gives him those extra split seconds to react.
At this stage of the season the odds are that Nadal will retain his French Open title next month in Paris, although Federer, who had not previously gone beyond the last eight here, was far from despondent, if a little more terse than usual.
Over the past six months the Swiss, who until last year's Masters Cup final in Shanghai had won 24 consecutive finals, has now lost three out of seven. This comparative vulnerability will give fresh heart to his opponents.
"I felt I got closer to Rafael than at Roland Garros last year," said Federer, who lost there in the semi-final. "Obviously I wish I had not lost against him again but I will quickly forget it."
This may not be strictly true, although in the past Federer has always discovered ways of beating those players who initially used to get the better of him, most notably Lleyton Hewitt, Tim Henman and Andre Agassi.
Once he gets your number, Federer tends to accelerate away into the blue beyond. Shaking off the young Spaniard, however, may prove considerably more difficult.
Having lost the opening set, Federer saved a set point in the second to level the match and then immediately broke Nadal's serve at the beginning of the third, only to play the most careless of games on his own serve.
Forced or unforced, this lack of control was to prove costly. But this should take nothing away from Nadal and the colossal pressure he imposed.
Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2006"
You can find the article if you click on :http://sport.guardian.co.uk/print/0,...108554,00.html