Recognized among the most talented players born in the early 1980s, Roger Federer and David Nalbandian were fearsome rivals from their youth. The Argentine won the first five meetings on the Tour between 2002 and 2003 by a massive H2H lead from him.
Federer had turned the tide in the next four matches before David clinched that incredible 2005 Masters Cup final with one of his best wins. Roger had the advantage on clay at Rome and Roland Garros in the spring of 2006, and his thirteenth meeting came in Madrid on October 21, with two great rivals fighting for a place in the final.
David loved playing in this event, but couldn’t find his way to the second final in three years. Roger delivered a master class performance to defeat the opponent 6-4, 6-0 in 59 minutes, advancing to the sixteenth Masters 1000 final and the first in Madrid.
The super-aggressive Federer fired nearly 30 winners and dropped Nalbandian to under ten, dominating each segment and playing better and better as the match went on to cross the finish line in no time. The Swiss lost 12 points in eight service games and suffered a break of serve.
Roger erased that deficit with a brilliant performance on the return, taking 56% of the points behind David’s opening shot and earning five breaks from ten chances. Roger started the match with a love serve, closed out the third game with another good serve and hit a return winner in the next to open a 3-1 lead.
Roger Federer defeated David Nalbandian in 59 minutes at Madrid 2006.
Three winners won game five for the Swiss, doing everything right before suddenly losing serve in game seven following a volley error. David got back on the scoreboard and leveled the score at 4-4 after fending off three break point chances in the next.
Losing the lead a bit in the final ten minutes, Federer brought Game 9 home with an ace and broke David at 15 a few minutes later to close out the first set 6-4 and gain momentum. Roger opened the second set with four winners and secured a break in the second game with a backhand return winner to forge a set and break lead, looking good to take the win home from there.
Three winners pushed Federer 3-0 before he grabbed another break, firing from both flanks and outplaying Nalbandian with deep, accurate groundstrokes. Buoyed by that, Roger hit three winners in game five and stole David’s serve at love a few minutes later to seal the deal and secure a place in the title chase.