Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gonzalez defeated by Federer in the Basel Tennis Open (yet again)

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Chilean Player Loses 9th match against world's No. 1

The last time Fernando Gonzalez had played Roger Federer was on Oct. 22 during the final of the Madrid ATP Tournament and on that occasion the Swiss player had won by 7-5,6-1,and 6-0. On Oct. 29, the two met again but this time it was in Roger Federer´s hometown of Basel. Federer had a lot to prove in this final since for some strange reason he had never been able to win this ATP tournament, (losing both previous finals in 2000 and 2001). The Swiss player that many experts are already considering as the best player of all time arrived at the indoor tennis court with an impressive match record of 86 wins and only 5 defeats during the 2006 season, and a total of 8045 ATP points. On the hard surface in Basle, Federer got off to an impressive start as he slammed two aces past Fernando Gonzalez. The serve must be one of the Federer´s strongest weapons since he hits the ball at an average of between 190 to 200 km/h. Gonzalez seemed to be playing against a brick wall as the Swiss player returned nearly every shot made by the Chilean, that went down in the first two sets by 6-3 and 6-2. However, even with the support that Federer was getting from his home crowd, Gonzalez managed to fight back and broke Federer´s serve for the first time in the third set to leave the score at 3-2. Then came a controversial period in play as Gonzalez became distracted as he began to argue with the umpire over several serves that the Chilean player thought had gone in but had been called out. Finally Federer recovered and the third set ended in a tiebreak that the Swiss "tennis machine" won by 7-3. The crowd in Basle cheered in delight and Federer sighed in relief as he must have thought that the match was not going his way in the third set. Fernando Gonzalez has a had a great year, specially in the past months as he has qualified to three consecutive ATP finals in a row, in Vienna where he lost to the world's third ranked player , Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, Madrid and Basle, where he was defeated by Roger Federer, that now has a career total of 478 wins in 603 matches, a 79 percent victory rate.At the time this article was written, Gonzalez was ranked 9th by the INDESIT ATP 2006 race, eight points behind Tommy Robredo and nine points behind James Blake and may still qualify to the most important tournament of the year, the Shanghai Masters Cup, where the eight best players in the world take part, and that will be played between November 12-19.

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