Rafael Nadal advances to Madrid Masters finals in marathon set

May 17th, 2009 - 2:40 am ICT by John Le Fevre  

Rafael Nadal Spain’s Rafael Nadal advanced to the finals of the Madrid Masters after a marathon five set game against world number four ranked Novak Djokovic.

The 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (11-9) game lasted a little over four hours and was Nadal’s 33rd straight tennis match victory on clay and gives him the chance to compete for his 16th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title,

It is the third time in five weeks that the world number one has fronted Djokovic in a Masters100.

Until last week Djokovic was ranked at number three in the ATP ranking but despite reaching the last three Masters 1000 finals (Miami, Monte Carlo, and Rome) fell to fourth in the world behind Andy Murray last Monday.

The victory by Nadal will see the 22-year-old Spaniard meet the winner of the of the Roger Federer-Juan Del Potro match on Sunday for a share of the €1.8 million ($US2.450 million)

2009 is the first year that the Madrid Masters has been played on clay, having been an indoor hardcourt tournament for the previous 18 years. It is also the first year that members of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have taken part.

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