Yes, that is what makes Nalle's victory all the better that he was the third alternate for the Masters, yet he was good enough to win and deserved his triumph.
I remember seeing Nalle play in 2001 and got a tip off about him from a very good friend who saw him play in the Palermo final in which he lost that year to Mantilla, he said this guy could play and then I had this confirmed when I saw him at the Aus Open in 2002, and saw he had a very compact and good game and used his brains on court which was unusual compared to his contemporaries.
This breakthrough has been a while coming, but worth the wait, though there will always be the doubters saying that he only won because of all the players that withdrew like Safin, Nadal, Hewitt and Roddick. It's an irony that Roddick the man who took advantage of Nalle's lapse in concentration at the US Open 2003 for his biggest triumph, was the player that pulled out so Nalbandian could take his place in this field and could have his biggest victory.
As for the final itself it was an enjoyable match, and an excellent way to end the regular ATP season. For some reason I felt that Nalle could win the match. Federer had his huge finals streak going and someone had to break it eventually, plus Nalle was playing well and if it went the distance he would have the advantage, plus unlike Gaston Gaudio, Nalbandian isn't just happy to be on the same court as Federer.
After not getting discouraged after some ordinary calls and being 2 sets to love down, Nalle held it together and raised his level of play and got to Nalle a 4-0 lead , but he hung tough and didn't panic when Federer came back to 4 all and was serving for the match and David held his nerve for a deserved title.
These two players are the best all surface players at the moment and played an entertaining and enjoyable match. Federer will bounce back, but the question is whether Nalbandian be able to build on this and be able to win a Slam and be consistent enough throughout the year.