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Federer stops Nadal run

Roger Federer stopped Rafael Nadal's 81 match record winning streak on clay when he beat the world number two at the Hamburg Masters in three sets to win his fourth Hamburg title.

Federer who had his own winning streak stopped by Guillermo Canas recently, didn't have the perfect start to the match when he lost the first set 6-2 and at that point it looked like it was going to be another routine Nadal win on clay.

But Federer came in the second set with a determination to win and took the second set leaving the third set as the decider. Federer steam rolled the third to win 6-0 to break Nadal's long running winning streak on clay which could have gone even longer especially at the start of the French Open.

I think Federer's win will mean Nadal will go into the French Open knowing that there is now a strong challenge to his grip at Rolland Garros and that may put some pressure on him.

Interestingly Lleyton Hewitt could have stopped Nadal's run in the semis but Nadal had a slight edge in what was a thrilling semi and I think Nadal has to think about the danger posed by Hewitt as well who had a very good Hamburg tournament.

mbareboy could see that the end to the winning streak was going to come sooner rather later due to his performances especially during the Hamburg tournament.

Whether its fatigue or complacency that was creeping in, Hewitt, with a bit of skill should have won the match. If you play rallies on clay with Nadal, you will be decimated.

Federer is just intelligent .....he changed his match, and what brought him back into the match were the serves and the movement around the court especially coming inside to put pressure on Nadal. Nadal fights for every ball and enjoys the long rallies, so he thrives on slower courts.

Nadal is in trouble because I don't see him with the ability to vary his game easily........thats also the same problem with Hewitt, he has underperformed given his potential because he hasn't been able to take risks and vary his game.

Federer is a genius because he plays all sorts of them, Federer will give you. You can talk about Roddick as well...relying on one missile, you can win sets with that strategy but not tournaments.

I agree with you, Nadal will have to vary his game a little bit more if he is to succeed again at Roland Garros. I think quietly he is hoping that somebody else will knock out Federer and thats possible.

Yes, Federer beat Nadal this time but I doubt that he will even reach the final at Rolland Garros. He is not playing very well on clay and I am sure he will be knocked out in the earlier rounds and Nadal doesn't have to worry much about him.

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