Rafa Nadal will be seeking to avenge his Australian Open loss in the final when he faces Roger Federer again, this time in the Miami Masters on Sunday in what will be their third meeting of the season.
I am happy to be in that final again, and I am excited to play another final of an important event
They both reached the title round in contrasting matches with Nadal playing in the afternoon where he required just 90-minutes to dispatch the unseeded Fabio Fognini, 6-1 7-5, to reach his fifth Miami final but still waiting to claim the title.
Federer, playing the night match, was kept on court by Nick Kyrgios for three hours and 9-minutes before eventually succeeding 7-6(9) 6-7(9) 7-6(5) to enact another chapter in the rivalry between himself and the Spaniard. It will be his first appearance in te final since 2006 when he left as champion.
Following his victory and still unaware who he will be facing on Sunday, Nadal commented after his comfortable win over the Italian: “It’s great to be in the final. For me, doesn’t matter the opponent. I am happy to be in that final again, and I am excited to play another final of an important event.”
While Nadal had a relatively easy outing, Federer was pushed all the way by the young Australian in what eventually proved an excellent contest between players of two different generations.
Kyrgios, who has a tendency to alienate the crowd, did so again when he threw a racket during the first set and then changing his racket mid-game during the second set, but despite that, he entertained the pro-Federer crowd with his brand of tennis, including his now trademark, tweenerÈ, that is between his legs.
The match itself proved to be a strong serving contest which Federer won when Kyrgios double faulted in the third tie-break to claim a place in the final on his third match point.
ItÈs great winning this way, Federer said. It could have gone either way. It was a nail biter, adding about Kyrgios: I think heÈs good for the game.
It was the seventh time that Federer had played all tie-breaks in a best-of-three set matches and the victory avenged his previous loss to Kyrgios bringing their head-to-head record at one-apiece.
Federer, who has become this yearÈs player to beat, has extended his run to 10 consecutive wins and record of 18 matches won to one loss.
I showed a lot of fight, Kyrgios said. Obviously, IÈm an emotional guy. I had some ups and downs, a bit of a roller coaster.
Ultimately I thought I put in a good performance. I thought the crowd would have enjoyed it.