ThrowbackTimes Miami: Roger Federer downs Andre Agassi to set Rafael Nadal clash



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ThrowbackTimes Miami: Roger Federer downs Andre Agassi to set Rafael Nadal clash

Three years after their title clash, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi met in Miami Open again in 2005, this time in the semi-final round. A lot had changed between these two matches and Roger was now the dominant figure in men's tennis, winning Doha, Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells and seeking the fifth title of the season in Florida.

In 2002, Andre prevailed in four sets to claim his fifth Miami crown, lifting another one a year later and hoping to stop the clock and celebrate once again at one of his favorite tournaments two years later. The veteran reached the semi-final where Roger stood too strong, scoring a 6-4 6-3 victory in an hour and 25 minutes to reach the title encounter against the young gun Rafael Nadal.

Federer fended off all five break chances, challenging the opponent to deliver similar numbers to stay in touch. Despite giving his best, Andre lost serve twice from eight opportunities offered to the Swiss, getting broken once in each set to finish his campaign in the semi-final.

Roger had 30 winners and 20 unforced errors, controlling the pace and forging the most significant difference in the shortest points up to four strokes. Agassi was hoping for a more positive outcome in the most extended rallies but that never happened, with Federer matching his pace from the baseline to seal the deal in straight sets.

Roger held after deuce in the first game thanks to two winners, producing another fine hold in the third game before Andre leveled the score at 2-2 with a service winner in the next one. They needed less than 30 minutes to complete the opening nine games before Federer grabbed a break at 15 at 5-4 to secure the opener, converting the first and only break chance of the entire set.

With momentum on his side, Roger created break opportunities in the second game of the second set, with Andre repelling them all to end his downfall and level the score at 1-1. Both players served well in the next four games and it was the American who earned five chances at 3-3, looking good to move in front for the first time.

Staying focused, Roger erased them all and closed the game with a forehand winner for a great escape, obtaining a massive boost and breaking Agassi in the next game to move 5-3 up. From 30-0 down in the next game, Federer fired three winners for a match point, forcing an error from Andre to wrap up the triumph and advance into his second Miami final.