Rising Star Rezai defeats Venus becoming TENNIS New World Champion ارغوان رضائی Aravane
Rising star Rezai defeats Venus to take title and round off her 'best week'
Nadal Tops Federer, Reclaims Madrid Crown; Rezai Upsets Venus In Womens Finale
Jojo Doria - AHN Sports Contributor
Madrid, Spain (AHN) - Rafael Nadal fended off a tough challenge by the defending champion and worlds top-ranked Roger Federer to reclaim the crown with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) victory in Sundays final at the Madrid Open for his record-breaking 18th career Masters title.
The victory enabled Nadal to shatter a tie with former tennis superstar Andre Agassi.
The top-ranked Spanish hero has also two more than arch-rival Federer.
Nadal leads the charge into the French Open, having captured three major clay titles prior to the Roland Garros event.
He will be aiming to avenge last years fourth-round exit that ended his four-year reign of the French Open.
Nadal, who is set to move up from third to second when the new rankings are released Monday, improved his record in clay court finals to 28-2.
His two losses were courtesy of Federer including last years Madrid final setback.
On Sunday, problems in serve hounded both players early in the opening set, but Nadal rebounded to break for a decisive 4-3 edge.
In the second, the Swiss master recovered twice from a break down and came back once in the tiebreaker to take a 4-2 lead.
Federer unleashed three of his nine aces in the ninth game of the second set as the tightly-contested match gave way to the tiebreaker.
At one point in the match, Nadal, broken three times in the contest, sent the partisan crowd at the Manolo Santana Stadium into a frenzy when he concluded a ferocious baseline rally with a thundering crosscourt dropshot to hold serve for 5-5.
After giving the local bet two match points in the tiebreaker, Federer managed to save the first with a crippling forehand winner, but failed to handle the second to hand the crown back to Nadal.
Nadal, who remained perfect at clay this season at 15-0, improves to 14-7 lifetime against Federer.
At the womens final, unseeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai claimed just the third title of her career Sunday after stunning favorite and fourth-seeded Venus Williams 6-2, 7-5 at the finale of the Madrid Open.
Rezai, coming off surprise conquests over former world No. 1 Justine Henin and Belgian star Jelena Jankovic, crushed the American in the first set in just 27 minutes.
The former No. 1 Venus, who is set to return to No. 2 in the world behind sister Serena Monday, only converted two of her 13 break points in the match.
Williams, who was seeking to win a 10th clay-court crown and improve on her 12-1 record on the surface this year, was unable to send the match into a third set after failing to take advantage of a 4-1 edge in the second.
With the triumph, the 24th-ranked Rezai improved to 2-1 lifetime against Williams.
She also moved to 3-2 all-time in WTA finals.
This man robs the building society but can't work out how to get out with the loot.
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Dumb criminal alert! In order to pursue an illustrious career as a convenience-store stickup man, it's always good to master the ability to read. This dim-witted robber walks into the convenience store, grabs $60 in cash and attempts to make his getaway. He first tries to leave through a door that he first walked through but pushes instead of pulls. He then tries to leave through the second door, which is actually locked. Panic starts to set in and he heads to the back of the store to search for another exit. Starting to feel a little claustrophobic, you can hear the man making a mess of the place, diving over the counter and again trying to bust his way out the locked door. Eventually, the dense thief busts a window and dives to freedom. Too bad he didn't read the sign on the locked door that said "Use Other Door".