Oh tennis, you’re spoiling us!
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 1, 2017
Masters Miami 2017Championship:
Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal
Miami has factored into their rivalry in a big way. Rafael Nadal’s first statement win was over Roger Federer at Miami 2004. Federer rallied from 2 sets down to beat Rafael Nadal to claim the 2005 Miami title. That match likely influenced Federer’s notion that he could outlast Rafa from the baseline in their 2005 Roland Garros semifinal match.
These two obviously know each other well. Roger Federer’s recent tactic of hitting through his backhand and staying close to the baseline has paid dividends. If tennis is an arms race of sorts, Nadal and Moya have considered this and will try to adjust to it. I can see Rafa trying to serve bigger, but that runs a risk of a lower first serve percentage. Nadal is in his 5th Miami final, but has come up short in the other 4. Does that motivate or haunt him? There are some questions to be answered, but my guess is that Nadal’s form has been a bit better in reaching the final than Federer’s. That tends to matter.
My Prediction: Rafael Nadal d. Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6