ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andy Roddick edges Rafael Nadal for last Masters 1000 final

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ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andy Roddick edges Rafael Nadal for last Masters 1000 final

In Miami 2010, Roger, Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were the favorite to claim another Masters 1000 crown and extend their domination at the premium series of the ATP events. Their rivals had other plans, though, with Rafael Nadal as the only semi-finalist from the group of mentioned players, staying on the course for the first crown in Florida.

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray fell already on the first obstacle while Tomas Berdych prevailed against Roger Federer in the last-16 round, leaving Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych in the last four.

Ranked 8th, Roddick played his penultimate notable Masters 1000 event (he would advance into the semi-final in Cincinnati later that summer), reaching his last final at that level following a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Rafael Nadal in two hours and six minutes.

It was the eighth encounter between these two and the third victory for the American who came from a set down to cross the finish line first, firing 15 aces and fending off three out of four break chances to keep the pressure on Rafa who couldn't endure it in sets two and three.

The Spaniard got broken three times from six opportunities offered to Roddick, hitting more winners than unforced errors but still not being able to follow Andy's pace. Using his booming serve and the first groundstroke after it, Roddick had a massive advantage in the shortest rallies up to four strokes, losing ground in the more extended exchanges but still finding the way to cross the finish line first with a double break in the deciding set.

Starting the encounter in the best possible way, Roddick held at love in the first game but that was about to change two games later when Rafa landed a forehand winner for an early break and a 2-1 advantage. The Spaniard fended off a break chance in the next game to confirm the break, serving well and earning a set point on the return at 5-3.

Andy saved it and held with an unreturned serve before Nadal secured it with a forehand winner in the next game for a 6-4 after 45 minutes. Raising his level in set number two, the American lost five points behind the initial shot and broke Rafa at love in the eighth game after a firing forehand that gave him all the momentum.

Serving for the set, Andy landed four winners to grab it 6-3 and force a decider, becoming the favorite if he would be able to keep that level of play in the final set. Ready to fight until the end, Rafa created a break chance in the second game, denied by a booming serve from Roddick who held with a forehand winner to level the score at 1-1.

That game became even more significant when Nadal netted a forehand in the next one to lose serve and send Andy in front, having to pull the break back as soon as possible to stay in contention. Instead of that, Roddick survived all the challenges and moved over the top with another break in game nine when Nadal sprayed a forehand error, advancing to his ninth and last Masters 1000 final.