Miami Open: Roger Federer’s resurgence continues with win over Rafael Nadal

Federer wins Miami Open title

MIAMI, April 3: Roger Federer assured Rafael Nadal he will win the Miami Open one day after the Swiss beat the Spaniard to claim his third title of 2017.

The 35-year-old powered his way to a 6-3, 6-4 final victory on Sunday to add the crown to his Australian Open and Indian Wells successes since his return from a six-month injury lay-off. Nadal, who was bidding for his first triumph under the Florida sun, was broken once in each set as he once again

Speaking on court afterwards, Federer said: “First of all, congratulations Rafa on a great comeback yourself. I’m happy we are both here together. I enjoy playing against you.

“This is where it all started for us in 2004 when you were a little boy who grew into a big man and strong man. We have had some epic matches over the years which I didn’t always enjoy, but mostly.”

The victory was Federer’s 26th ATP Masters 1000 title – only Novak Djokovic with 30 and Nadal with 28 have won more – and his 91st Open era crown. He said: “For me, the dream continues. It’s been a fabulous couple of weeks here in Miami. Indian Wells was beautiful as well.

Nadal, who has himself been hampered by injury, was gracious in defeat, but determined to break his duck in Miami. He said: “Congratulations to Roger and all his team for an amazing start to the season. I think [it’s] one of the best comebacks ever on the [ATP] Tour after a long injury, so well done. I am very happy for you.

“I am going to keep trying hard for the next couple of years. Hopefully I will not have to wait three more years to be in that position fighting again for the [Miami] title.”

Fourth seed Federer survived a series of early scares in a tight first set, and it was he who eventually made his move in the eighth game to convert a break point at the third attempt and give himself a chance to serve for it. Having opened the door, he powered his way through it with a confident service game to take the set 6-3.

Nadal, who was disturbed by a drone flying above the court as he prepared to serve early in the second set, had to defend two break points at 3-3 with Federer’s backhand in full flow, but he could not resist at the next time of asking.

A net cord which left the Spaniard in a hopeless position at 30-30 handed his opponent another chance to break, and he forced an error to take a 5-4 lead and the opportunity to serve for the title. Nadal was given hope when Federer opened with a double fault, but he restored parity with a glorious backhand pass and served out to secure victory.

Konta claims Miami Open women’s title

Konta wins Miami Open title
Britain’s Johanna Konta lifts her winner’s trophy after winning Miami Open title

The 25-year-old, Johanna Konta defeated former world number one Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-3 on Saturday to move to a career-high seventh in the world rankings, beating her previous best of ninth last autumn.

Konta, who ousted number three seed Simona Halep in a marathon quarter-final match, also became the first British woman to win a WTA Premier Mandatory event.

“I think it was probably a combination of everything but also a question of maturity,” Konta told wtatennis.com.

“I needed to go through certain life experiences, not just on court, off court as well, to I think make me into the competitor that I am and also the person off court.

“I think a lot of things go very hand and hand when I it comes to sport. It’s not just a job. It’s your life. It’s your lifestyle. I think you have to grow up in a lot of different areas for it to transfer on court as well.”

Both women were competing in their first Miami Open final but while Wozniacki was seeking her first win of the year, Konta had already won the Apia International in Sydney.AGENCIES