Roger Federer tops Rafael Nadal once again, clinches Miami Open title

The 35-year-old Swiss maestro defeated Rafael Nadal on Sunday in a tough 6-3, 6-4 battle in the final of the Miami Open.

The purple court was a revival ground as rivals came nose-to-nose at net.

For Nadal it was a fifth loss in the Miami Open final, the first of which came against Federer in 2005.

Federer and Nadal were both close to the top of their games during the opening set as they held their serves to keep things tight. When I'm feeling good I can produce tennis like this. Maybe a wrong decision by me in that (break point) moment and I think it would turn quickly. "It was a very intense first set". "Hopefully I will not have to wait three more years to be in that position fighting again for a title. It's so crucial against a great return player like him to always protect your serve".

With Federer completing his third "Sunshine Double" of the Indian Wells and Miami titles, it is no wonder that that there is speculation as to whether he can add to his all-time record total of 302 weeks at the top of the world rankings, particularly as Murray and Djokovic, the top two in the list, have had their troubles this year and are now nursing elbow injuries which forced them to miss Miami.

Federer beat Nadal to clinch the first Grand Slam of the year - the Australian Open - in January, and while that match was one that swung one way and then the other, this was without as much drama, even if the win wasn't as easy as the score might suggest.

"It was more of a fight mode I was in today trying to stay afloat. That is what it is going to look like, I need rest, my body needs healing, I need time as well to prepare, you will probably see me at the French again", he said. Rafael Nadal believes he's ready for a good run on his favorite surface, and Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are expected to return soon from injuries. No Canadian or Chinese woman had ever won the doubles trophy at the Miami Open.

However, it is not inconceivable that Federer would skip the whole clay-court season, including its climax at the French Open.

"I'm happy we're both here together, and I enjoy playing against you", Federer said, upon receiving his trophy and winners' check for just over $1 million.

He told ESPN: 'I probably won't play any clay court events except the French.

In his on-court interview, Federer backed Nadal, who has himself been hampered by injury, for clay success. And now, Federer will try to become the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era during the Wimbledon in July. The match was full of significance, as their storied rivalry began 13 years ago on the very same court in Key Biscayne.

The Spaniard has reached three deciders in 2017 but lost on each occasion, including going down 6-3 6-4 to Federer on Sunday. "Fantastic start of the season, one of the best comebacks on the tour ever after a long injury".

  • Julie Sanders