Sunday, April 02, 2017

2017 MIAMI: Federer Wins #Fedal37; 3rd Miami Title; Starts Year 19-1

As I predicted (and joyously watched on live television) Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 in the finals of the 2017 Miami Open, winning his 91st career match, 3rd Miami Open title and 3rd "Sunshine double" (2005, 2006 and 2017). Nadal is now 0-5 in Miami Open finals.

He improved his head-to-head record against Nadal to 14W-23L, and has won the last four consecutive matches (and 5 consecutive sets) he has played against Nadal, with most of these sets coming down to 1-break advantages, like the two in today's final.

This is a dream start to the season for Federer, who has only lost won match in a 3rd set tiebreak t(o Evgeny Donskoy!) despite playing four tournaments and 20 matches. However, he confirmed on court today that he will take more than a month off the tour, skipping the entire clay court season (except for Roland Garros). His 3 tournament wins this year have him currently rising to World #4 in the rankings and he is currently #1 in the Year-To-Date points race (World #2 Novak Djokovic is #22 and World #1 Andy Murray is #12).

Federer's absence from the tour will be good news for Nadal, who is also playing quite well in 2017, and just happens to have lost in 3 consecutive big tournament to his arch-nemesis. The big question is what impact the return of Djokovic and Murray have on the clay court season or will the 5th man in the Big Four, Stan Wawrinka sneak into the conversation?

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