Monday, November 29, 1999

Real Madrid fan Nadal distracted by La Liga climax

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Real Madrid fan Rafa Nadal may be distracted by the thrilling climax to the soccer season during his Madrid Open final with arch rival Roger Federer on Sunday.The tennis world has waited a year to see the duo face off in their 21st meeting but unfortunately for the Spaniard, his long-awaited date with Federer will clash with Real Madrid's season finale against Malaga.At a news conference after his semi-final victory on Saturday, Nadal quizzed tournament director Manolo Santana over the plan to start the final at around 1630 GMT, just 30 minutes before the soccer match kicks off."Nobody could have known that Real and Barca would be playing for the title on the same date as the final," Santana said. "If we have made a mistake time will tell."A laughing Nadal replied: "I'm sorry to have put you under the spotlight but will the (soccer) scores be up on the big screens, at least during the changeovers?"Barcelona can clinch a second straight La Liga crown by defeating Real Valladolid but Real Madrid are only a point behind in second spot and victory by them at Malaga and a slip-up by the leaders will hand Nadal's men the title.(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To query or comment on this story email
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