Nadal Tops Ljubicic with Incredible Comeback at ATP Madrid

Posted on October 24, 2005

From two sets down in the Masters Series-Madrid final, homecountry hero Rafael Nadal rode the enthusiasm generated by the 10,000-plus fans to post a 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) victory over Ivan Ljubicic to claim his 11th overall title and fourth Masters Series win on the year.

Both Roger Federer and Nadal have claimed 11 titles in 2005, and split the eight Masters Series events between them, a never-before-done feat.

"The only reason why I can explain that I managed to turn the game around was the support of the fans here in Madrid," Nadal said. "They have 80 percent of the responsibility for the victory...I'd rank this as my most important victory of the year after Roland Garros."

Ljubicic dropped 32 aces on the scrambling Spaniard, who ended the Croat's 16-match winning streak and hopes for a third consecutive title after Metz and Vienna.

"It was a beautiful feeling to play here and I'm really happy for Rafa because he's young and will have a lot of victories ahead of him still to come," Ljubicic said after the almost-four-hour final.

The telling stats were Ljubicic converting on only five of 13 break point opportunities, and Nadal winning 95 percent of his second-serve points.

No. 3 seeds Mark Knowles and Daniel Nestor won the Madrid doubles crown with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 comeback win over the unseeded duo of Leander Paes and Nenad Zimonjic, their fourth title on the year and second consecutive after Vienna.