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Rafael Nadal took part in two unforgettable battles to win his first two titles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. In both Rome finals — against Guillermo Coria in 2005 and Roger Federer in 2006 — a teenaged Nadal prevailed in a fifth-set tie-break after more than five hours. 

Nadal, on his tournament debut, celebrated an epic 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6) victory over Coria in his first championship match. A year later at the Foro Italico, he successfully defended the title by defeating Federer 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5) — which to this day remains the longest match of their storied rivalry. 

Nadal needed to show his trademark fighting spirit against both Coria and Federer, coming back from down in the fifth set of both matches. He said following one of his victories, “This was the best match of my career.”

Do you recall what happened in which final? Put your memory skills to the test in the Rome Classics Challenge, share your results and challenge your tennis friends!

Quiz: Which Rome classic is it? 

Nadal rallied from 0-3 down in the fifth set

Nadal hit his first double fault of the match to give his opponent two championship points

Nadal trailed 5/3 in the deciding tie-break

Nadal prevailed after five hours and 14 minutes

There were 18 service breaks in the match — nine per player 

The runner-up won more points than Nadal

The runner-up said, “I came back well and in the end I should have won. He caught me right on the finish line.”

Nadal said, “This was the best match of my career.”

Keep practising, hard

You failed to make it out of the first round.

Relive the 2005 final and 2006 final, and improve your knowledge by receiving news from the ATP Tour. :tennis:

On the rise

With some more practice, you’ll be in the semi-finals or even the final.

Relive the 2005 final and 2006 final, and improve your knowledge by receiving news from the ATP Tour. :tennis:

You’re a Masters 1000 champion!

The best among the best. Take the rest of the week off. Go ahead, tell your boss we said you could :grinning:

Relive the 2005 final and 2006 final, and improve your knowledge by receiving news from the ATP Tour. :tennis:

Nadal has since won seven more titles in Rome, which changed to a best-of-three-sets final format in 2007. He will look to make it a perfect 10 next week, against a field led by five-time champion Novak Djokovic. Main draw action begins on Sunday, 9 May.

Need help with the quiz? Refresh your memory by watching match highlights. 

2005: Rafael Nadal d. Guillermo Coria, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(6)

2006: Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer, 6-7(0), 7-6(5), 6-4, 2-6, 7-6(5)


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