Federer beats Nadal, announces eight-week break

Ross Houston
April 3, 2017

"All the grass is important to me", Federer added.

"You are too good not to win this one, so all the best for the coming years, of course".

The father of four has an exhibition scheduled next week, but plans to skip the bulk of the clay court season before returning for the French Open in late May.

"I know everybody is working very hard on your team to get you back in shape, and keep going", said Federer.

"When I am not feeling this good there is no chance I will be in the finals competing with Rafa", added the 18-time Grand Slam victor after his hard court win. For me it's a very special feeling to play in front of you.

Federer has now beat his Spanish rival for a third time this season and fourth in succession.

"I will have to stay in shape because I have the Match for Africa 3 on April 10 (an exhibition that is also supposed to feature Andy Murray, sore elbow allowing), so I can't fall apart completely".

In the second set, the 35-year-old Federer, gained the advantage in the seventh game and then went up 5-4, after which Nadal was unable to recover, losing his fifth final in Miami, having gone down to defeat in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014.

"I'm not 24 anymore so things have changed in a big way and I probably won't play any clay court event except the French".

In the first set Federer broke at 4-3, and both players in the second set fought off break chances until the Swiss broke at 4-4 then closed it out. Federer's backhand was bullying Nadal's forehand, rather than the other way around.

The Swiss managed to break Nadal in the eighth game of the opening set to give himself a chance to serve for it which he took with confidence. The sellout crowd was evenly divided in its support but roared for the popular champion.

"It's disappointing that every time in my career I have stood here I get the smaller trophy", he said.

Federer saved two match points in his quarterfinal win against Tomas Berdych, and earned a three-tiebreaker win in the semifinals against Nick Kyrgios.

Even so, Federer's recent run is remarkable. His best start since 2006 comes after he missed the final six months of past year with a left knee injury.

Federer's vast repertoire was on display throughout the tournament. He served well and held at love three times in a row.

"He's playing incredible tennis, he finds a way to continue to win these close matches and he's won a lot of close ones this year", Larkham said.

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