Friday, 22 February, 2019

Federer beats Nadal to win Miami Open

Kristopher Love | 08 April, 2017, 06:23

Roger Federer, for the third time in four months, beat arch-rival Rafael Nadal in straight sets in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday.

On the idea of resurgence and renaissance, you could be right either way.

Even Nadal had to admit how good Federer was after losing his fifth Miami Open final. So yes, this is a resurgence unlike any in recent memory. Federer raced in and put it over Nadal's head into the back corner.

It was the 37th meeting between the Swiss and Spaniard.

The duo wasted no time in throwing the heavy punches.

Rafael Nadal chases down a forehand during the final. Federer drove a backhand that smacked into the top of the tape, hung in the air for a split-second then plopped over.

Both players blew break point opportunities early in Sunday's final. "It was a very intense first set".

The 35-year-old Swiss has now won three of the four tournaments he has competed in this year, a stunning return following the injury troubles that blighted his previous season.

The intensity inside Crandon Park was palpable - Nadal was electrifying the court with his power and Federer was doing just about enough to not blink in the face of that luminous attack.

Nadal raced in and shoved it back over the net. He's the first three-time champion this year on the men's tour -and ready for a break.

What Federer has achieved so far in 2017 is the stuff of fairytales. Rather than targeting a return to world No 1, he has his eyes on more Grand Slam glory, particularly at Wimbledon, where he needs one more title to become the most successful male singles player in All England Club history. Indian Wells was lovely as well.

Federer is at the stage of his career wherein he's able to pick-and-choose events from the packed ATP calendar, while also giving his troublesome knees sufficient rest at regular intervals.

The past fortnight has taken a toll on Federer, with his opponents extracting sweat and energy from the normally unfazed Swiss. Federer doesn't seem to be under any kind of pressure and is clearly enjoying his game.

"Congratulations to you too Rafa on your great comeback to the tour", Federer said after the match.

How did the two men reach the final?

Nadal would typically overpower Federer's one-handed backhand with his lefty forehand and wear him down with an endless reservoir of energy. Nadal fell to 0-5 in finals on Key Biscayne.

Federer kisses Miami trophy.

Federer has only won the French Open once, beating Robin Soderling back in 2009, but he will fancy his chances in 2017.

He made the tennis world his all over again. I need time to prepare'. The second started slow for both but I got a few important points. In 2005 I was very lucky to beat you here in the final, I told you then that you'd one day win this tournament and I still believe you'll win this tournament.

"This is where it all started for us in 2004 when you were a little boy who grew into a big man and strong man".

Speaking after the win, Federer said: "The dream continues". Two weeks later in Miami, it was Nadal trying to return the favour.