Roger Federer came into Miami 2003 as one of the title favourites, notching the most wins of the season and returning as a finalist from last year. Roger defeated Luis Horna 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 21 minutes in the opener, playing well in the opening set and scoring a late break in set number two to seal the deal and make a winning start.
When asked about that final with Agassi 12 months ago, Roger said he gave him a lot of confidence, along with the title he took in Hamburg a couple of weeks later when he secured a top 10 spot. The Swiss praised the American who played at a very high level in the first two sets.
Roger matched Andre's pace in sets three and four for a real battle, closing in to force a decider after leading 4-2 in set number four. Agassi added the last four to cross the finish line and defend the crown he won in 2001.
Andre prevailed 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 in two hours and 21 minutes for Florida's fifth title, preventing Roger from becoming the youngest champion since Agassi failed to do so in 1990! "I don't remember the points at that stage, but I had a break in the fourth set.
Still, the lead went quickly, with Agassi breaking me twice and sealing the deal. I think he played well from the beginning; I couldn't hold on. Then I started serving better and it was a shame we couldn't get into the fifth set.
I made a breakthrough in the Masters series a year ago. I think I had two quarter-finals before Miami, and it's not easy to fight at that level, having to play high-ranking players from the first round. If you can beat them in the early rounds here, it would help you in Majors and other tournaments."
Roger Federer is back at training
Craig Tiley, the CEO of Tennis Australia, recently recalled the epic Australian Open 2017 final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. "Who can forget the 2017 final, Rafa v Roger!
At one point, it looked like Roger was going to win it in the fourth set. Rafa took that set and then took a lead in the fifth set. It looked like he was on a roll. I remember being up, talking to a few people, and thinking maybe this is the beginning of Rafa finishing the set pretty quickly but it wasn't," said Tiley.
Tiley also highlighted that it was altogether a "different match," the best that he has "experienced" as a spectator. "Roger took a turn. 3-1, he was down, and very quickly, it became three all. It's a different match.
That has to be the most memorable match, [it] certainly was the most memorable I had experienced at Melbourne Park," added Tiley.