Making massive steps towards the top of men's tennis, Rafael Nadal was the player to beat alongside Roger Federer in 2005. The young Spaniard claimed no less than 11 ATP titles that year, completing one of the most excellent seasons for teenagers in the history of the game and becoming world no.
2 behind the Swiss. Nadal claimed titles in Monte Carlo, Rome and Roland Garros for his first notable trophies, fighting for another one in Montreal. The Spaniard didn't lose his serve in the first three matches, beating Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 6-4 in an hour and 40 minutes in the third round to enter the quarters.
Speaking about his improvements on the hard court, Nadal mentioned that memorable Miami final versus Roger Federer, the one he had in his hands before it slipped away. Due to injuries, Nadal couldn't make progress through the ATP list in 2004, skipping three months and winning the first ATP title in Sopot in August.
At the end of the year, the youngster delivered an important point for Spain over the USA in the Davis Cup final in Seville, hoping for another good run in 2005.
In Miami, Nadal became the second-youngest Masters 1000 finalist after Michael Chang.
In the final, he arranged another clash with Roger Federer, seeking the first notable crown of his young career.
After an incredible battle, Roger prevailed 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1 in three hours and 43 minutes, producing one of his most excellent comebacks after trailing two sets to love and 4-1 in the third! The Swiss took the third set tie break after being 5-3 down, gathering boost and never looking back in the rest of the clash, keeping the pressure on the other side of the net all the time and sealing the deal in style in the decider.
Nadal was two points away from victory at 5-4 in the third set and again in the tie break, unable to make that one last push and beat Roger for the second straight year in Miami. Federer had his chances in the second set but Nadal remained calm, fending off two set points and taking it in the tie break to move just a step away from the crown, looking better and better after forging that lead in the third.
With no room for errors, Roger endured all the efforts and played well when it mattered the most, surviving the tie break and never looking back to secure the title. "I'm young and I always want to improve my game while keeping the no.
2 spot in the ranking. I played well on hard in Auckland last year and in Melbourne this January. I also had two sets to love advantage and a 4-1 in the third against Roger Federer in Miami," Rafael Nadal said.