Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played an incredible match in the 2005 Miami final, with Nadal leading two sets to love and 4-1 in the third before falling in five sets. Two big rivals were ready for another match at the Masters 1000 level after being drawn in the same half in Monte Carlo in April.
Rafa faced Gaston Gaudio in the quarterfinals while Roger faced the young Frenchman Richard Gasquet, hoping to score victories and set up another duel. Nadal did his share of the work, ousting reigning Roland Garros champion Gaudio 6-3, 6-0 in 62 minutes to reach the semi-final in style.
It was Nadal's first win over Gaudio after three defeats, dominating each segment to control the pace and rush towards the finish line. At 85% serve, Rafa lost eight points on serve, challenging Gaston to repeat that in his games and stealing 55% of return points to win four breaks in five chances.
Instead of Federer, Nadal's semi-final opponent would be Gasquet, who defeated the Swiss 6-7, 6-2, 7-6 after fending off three match points in the decisive tiebreaker. It was the first notable victory for a qualifier ranked just outside the top-100, holding his nerves and landing a perfect backhand on the winning line at 9-8 in the tie break to end Roger's 25-game winning streak and put the Nadal clash in a battle for the final.
Berrettini pays tribute to Federer
Matteo Berrettini has claimed Roger Federer is the greatest ambassador for tennis, as he makes good use of his position and power to "positively impact" lives. Berrettini has also revealed he grew up idolizing Federer, and that he would often sneak into the Foro Italico to catch a glimpse of the Swiss at the Rome Masters.
"Roger (is the greatest ambassador of tennis)," Matteo Berrettini said. "I admire the example he sets, and the time he gives to the sport off the court and away from the cameras. I feel he understands that he has the power to have a much more significant impact on the world in general.
Whether it is his charity work or sitting on the ATP player council for so many years, he utilizes the sport and his popularity to impact as many lives as he can positively. I grew up watching Roger (Federer) and cheering for him," Berrettini said.
"I supported him as much as I could, watching him on TV whenever he was on. But then the day came when I realized I was playing the same tournament as he was in the same draw. So I couldn't support him anymore from that point on. I have told Roger this story as we get on very well now."