Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer met twice in a row in Miami in 2004 and 2005, with the astonishing Spaniard winning in the first set and building a huge lead in the second. Nadal advanced to his first Masters 1000 final at Miami 2005 after beating David Ferrer, facing Federer and seeking the first notable title of his career.
The teenager built a 6-2, 7-6, 4-1 lead and placed just two games off his first Masters 1000 trophy at 18. Still, Federer turned things around and used all of his arsenal to prevail 2- 6, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-1 in three hours and 43 minutes of a titanic battle.
As in 2004, Nadal got off to a furious start and left the no. 1 far behind in the first game with a great performance on serve and return. The Spaniard won the second set in the tie break and looked good to seal the deal and celebrate a huge trophy.
Down and beaten, Federer fell 4-1 behind in the third set and struggled to keep up with the youngster, throwing his racket in anger and knocking on the starting door. The Swiss started off with a wonderful comeback in the second part of the third set, two points away from the loss in the tenth game and the tie break before taking it 7-5 for a big boost.
Rafa led 5-3 in the tie break and served, only to lose the next four points and experience a hit. Suddenly Federer became the leader, raising his bar on serve and return to take the fourth set 6-3 and get a huge boost before the decider.
After squandering his chances, the youngster had nothing else left in the tank in the fifth set and won just four games in sets four and five to propel Federer to his first "Sunshine Double"
Nadal has started hitting the practice courts
Rafael Nadal recently spoke about the influence that the athletes in his own family - and their sporting values - have had on his tennis career.
"I was born into a family of many sports references and it is something that has always inspired me," Nadal was quoted as saying by MARCA. "I do not know how to do anything without always giving my best. It is something that has dominated my life.
And what I try is to improve every day." KIA launched a new electric crossover at the event, gifting the 20-time Grand Slam champion a personalized edition. "It is my first electric car and it becomes a little strange because you pick up speed and since it does not sound anything, you do not even realize it," Nadal said.
Rafael Nadal has been out of competitive action since August due to a chronic foot injury which resurfaced at Roland Garros. The Spaniard missed both Wimbledon and the US Open before withdrawing from the rest of the 2021 season.