Federer Defeats Nadal to Win Third Miami Open Crown

by John on April 3, 2017

Roger Federer tapped the Fountain of Youth once again. The 35-year-old Swiss Maestro defeated longtime rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 yesterday afternoon to win the Miami Open and capture the Sunshine Double for the third time. Federer won the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells two weeks ago and has now won three tournaments on the year, while posting an ATP Tour best 19-1 record. The Swiss won his previous two Indian Wells-Miami back-to-backs in 2005 and 2006. Federer defeated Nadal in the final of the Australian Open in January and then again en route to the title at Indian Wells, and has won four straight against the Spaniard, improving to 14-23 head-to-head all-time. Prior to this year the two hadn’t met since 2015 when Federer beat the Spaniard in the final at Basel. Sunday’s title was the 91st of Federer’s career. The Swiss served big, hitting five aces and numerous service winners, while winning 87 percent of his first service points. Federer won two of nine break points and erased all four on his own serve, capturing a service break in each set. His winners to unforced errors ratio was superb at 29/19. Sunday’s conditions on Key Biscayne were quite testing, with 85 degree temperatures and heavy air (75 percent humidity), and just a light breeze. Play was sloppy at the start as Federer needed to save two break points in the opening game, and one in the fifth and another in the seventh before dialing in on his serve. Those were the only sniffs at a break Nadal would get the rest of the day. Federer failed to capitalize on five break point chances himself ( two in the fourth game and one in the sixth) before breaking through in the eighth game on the third of three break point opportunities. After eight straight holds in the second set, Federer captured the crucial break to go up 5-4. When Nadal sailed a return long in the next game, it was over after one hour and 34 minutes of play. “I think it was a close match,” Federer said. “Maybe if you didn’t see the match and you were sitting somewhere around the world and you see the score you’re thinking it was straightforward with couple breaks and that was it. That’s not the full story. I thought he had his chances in the first and in the second. It was close. I think on the big points today I was just a little bit better. Why, I have no explanation. I just think it fell that way today.” Nadal, who hit 15 winners and committed 23 unforced errors, agreed with Federer’s assessment of the match. “I think that I was close,” the Spaniard said. “I think I was close enough to win the first set. It was not my day. It is true that when somebody is coming with that dynamic like him that he’s winning a lot, all the things are going your way.”

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