Thirteen years after their first clash in Miami, tennis giants Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal set up their third meeting of the 2017 season, battling for the Florida crown. Like the Australian Open and Indian Wells, Roger had the upper hand, winning Chapter 37 of their incredible rivalry after a 6-3, 6-4 win in one hour and 35 minutes. It was Miami’s third crown for the Swiss and the first since 2006, closing the gap 23-14 in head-to-head matches against his nemesis and defeating the Spaniard four times in a row for the first time in his career! It was Federer’s 19th win in 20 matches in 2017, making the season’s best start since 2006 and clinching the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami treble for the second time. The Swiss had a significant advantage after winning the first set, an excellent indicator in his duels, as the winner of the first match took 29 wins in 37 matches. Roger gained momentum before set number two, where he made the difference with a break at 4-4 that carried him forward. Miami 2017 was his 91st career title for the Swiss star and his 26th Masters 1000 trophy, two behind Nadal, who was 28. With 4,000 points accumulated from the three biggest events of the season, Roger was by far the best player in the ATP Race at 36, looking better and better to regain No. 1 spot sometime that year. As for Nadal, Miami remained dark territory for him, losing the fifth final and missing another opportunity to add the missing Masters to his prized collection. The conditions were very harsh, with humidity around 75% that forced the players to look for their best game in the first set, as we saw sloppy tennis and the score that could have gone both ways. Still, Roger played better and better as the match progressed, assuming the dominant role and imposing his blows, especially with his powerful forehand. Rafael Nadal recently spoke at length on several topics during an interview with Veja. The Spaniard touched upon the ‘GOAT’ debate and his rivalry with Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, while also lamenting his unfortunate and never-ending tryst with injuries.
Rafael Nadal touched upon the topic of fame
“Honestly, I don’t remember ever playing without pain,” Rafael Nadal said. “In the past few years, I have been experiencing pain more often and you need to learn to live with it, as long as it doesn’t stop you from playing. I had to change a lot in my game and in my training. I changed routines, trained less hours than I would like, improved my serve and my positioning. Everything evolves, one way or the other.” During his interview, the 34-year-old touched upon the topic of fame, revealing that it does not affect his personality. Nadal called himself a ‘reserved person’ who primarily enjoys spending time with his loved ones. “I never said specifically that I don’t like being famous,” Nadal said. “What I usually say is that fame does not affect me or my behavior. It is true that I am a reserved person. I am used to a life in Mallorca where I can be an ordinary person, just a man with his family and friends.”