The 28-time Masters 1000 champion Roger Federer played in the first final at that level in Miami 2002 at 20. Thanks to that result and already 23 wins since the start of the season, Roger came on the verge of the top-10, standing as a contender for a place in the elite for a while but failing to make that one last push.
Roger won the title in Sydney and reached the Australian Open fourth round, losing to Tommy Haas after an epic battle. The Swiss failed to defend the Milan title and struggled a bit in Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells. Hoping for a better run in Miami, Federer delivered five straight-sets victories to earn the first Masters 1000 final and make another big step towards the top-10.
Roger Federer reached his first Masters 1000 final in Miami 2002, losing to Agassi.
In the semis, Roger scored the first victory over world no. 1, toppling Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4 after a notable performance and gathered momentum ahead of the final meeting with the home star Andre Agassi.
The defending champion proved to be too strong for the young Swiss and scored a 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 triumph, his third and last over Roger. Eager to play well in the first Masters 1000 final, Federer claimed the third set and opened a 4-2 gap in the fourth before the American shifted into a higher gear to rattle off four straight games and seal the deal.
After the match, Roger said he was disappointed about missing the top-10 spot, knowing he had a chance to fight for the title after those six games of the fourth set. "I'm thrilled I've played well again; it's been a great start to the year.
I won my second title in Sydney and produced some excellent tennis on an outdoor surface, unlike in the previous season when I struggled a lot. It has been a fun week. I'm disappointed I didn't make the top-10 here in Miami because I had a chance, playing well from the baseline to beat the guy like Lleyton Hewitt.
For a while, I dominated Andre Agassi in the final, and I'm pleased with the way I competed, hoping to shift this momentum onto the clay season," Roger Federer said.