Roger Federer lifts 3rd Miami title, completes Sunshine Double, set to skip all clay except French Open

 

By Jake Davies

  • Roger Federer [4] defeats Rafael Nadal [5] 6-3 6-4
  • Federer rallies to victory and wins 3rd Miami title
  • Federer’s 91st ATP career title
MIAMI, USA – The dream come-back continues for Roger Federer, who adds the Sunshine Double of Indian Wells and Miami to the Australian Open, but we will not see him on the clay until Roland Garros.

 

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Roger Federer [4] defeats Rafael Nadal [5] 6-3 6-4

Roger Federer continued his remarkable return to tennis by completing the ‘Sunshine Double,’ winning Indian Wells and now Miami in back-to-back tournaments. By beating Rafael Nadal in the 2017 Miami Open title, Federer moved ahead in the hard court head-to-head to 10-9 lead overall.

The first set was a set full of missed chances from both. In Indian Wells, Nadal only managed to see one break point on Federer’s serve throughout the whole match, but had a look at four break points but could not grab any of them. Federer took his sixth break opportunity and then drove home a comfortable hold to take the first set 6-3.

Nadal found some success in adopting the body serve in the first set, which jolted Federer’s return stance as he stood right inside the baseline on return, but in the second set Federer regained control and did not look back.

The biggest talking points were the depth that Nadal could get on his forehand side and the stability of Federer’s one-handed backhand. The Swiss’s aesthetically pleasing single-handed shot came out on top and penetrated through the court whenever the Spaniard dropped a ball short and central. Ultimately Federer won this match from taking advantage of the small windows of opportunity and imposing his game on Nadal, which was the tale of the tape in Indian Wells just two weeks ago too.

Only ten players in history have claimed the ‘Sunshine Double’, which reflects just how difficult this period of the year is in the tennis calendar. Federer, who turns 36 in August, is now 19-1 (discounting walkovers) for the season and has now won 91 career titles, which is staggering, even for Federer himself.

Perhaps not surprisingly, he announced on ESPN that he would be skipping most of the clay court season except for Roland Garros, and with both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic struggling with injury, Nadal can gain some ground.

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