This was the final, that we've all been waiting for. A classic showdown between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Or was it? The first set, really wasn't up to the usual Federer/Nadal par. Which probably explains why these guys, no longer dominate the tour. Both of them have slipped a few gears, in the last year or so. Don't get me wrong, it was a great match, but nowhere near the best I've seen from Roger or Nadal.
Roger, started off the match as the fresher player, he put pressure on Nadal serve and managed to get an early break point. Nadal, sensing the danger, served his way out of trouble and held for 1-all. Then in the next game it was Nadal who broke serve only to lose it back immediately afterward, evening out the match at 2-all. As the match progressed both players appeared stuck in third gear. Rafa, had another break point against Federer at 4-all and converted on it. Then he managed to fend off a last ditch effort from Roger to win the first set 6-4.
The quality of the match steadily improved in set 2. Nadal, broke Fed's, serve midway through and then Federer returned the favor to level the set again. The set went to a tie-break, with both players, playing exceptionally well. Federer, took a temporary lead in the tie-break but he couldn't fend off the fury of Nadal and he miss-timed a fairly easy forehand on match point to give Nadal, the victory in just over 2 hours.
Over-all this was a very enjoyable match. Roger, has improved tremendously since Estoril and now seems ready for the French Open. It's going to be a tough for him but given his performance in Madrid, I think he'll reach at least the semi-finals in Paris. Nadal, looks ready to win the title, although he seemed vulnerable at times against Federer. He'll need to cut down on the unforced errors if he wants to reclaim his title in Paris.