Miami Flashback: Roger Federer plays his first Masters 1000 quarter-final

Roger Federer faced Patrick Rafter in his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Miami 2001

by Jovica Ilic
Miami Flashback: Roger Federer plays his first Masters 1000 quarter-final

Roger Federer made a great start to the 2001 season. The Swiss claimed his first ATP title in Milan, scored three Davis Cup wins over the USA and played in the Rotterdam final. Roger stood on the verge of the top-20 ahead of Indian Wells, losing to Nicolas Kiefer in the first match and extending his terrible Masters 1000 run.

Federer made a fresh start in Miami and advanced into his first Masters 1000 quarter-final. The Swiss scored victories over Younes El Aynaoui, Mark Philippoussis and Thomas Johansson, beating the Swede after an epic battle to enter the last eight.

Following two wins over the top-25 players, Roger faced world no. 8 Patrick Rafter in the clash for the semi-final. The more experienced Aussie toppled the youngster 6-3, 6-1 in swift 56 minutes to sail into the last four. Patrick struggled on the second serve, but no one could notice that after a rock-solid performance on the first.

Rafter dropped 14 points in eight service games and fended off both break chances to mount the pressure on the other side.

Roger Federer lost his first Masters 1000 quarter-final in Miami 2001.

Federer was not ready to deal with it.

He hit one ace and six double faults and dropped half of the points behind the initial shot to suffer four breaks from eight chances offered to his opponent. Rafter faced troubles in the encounter's first service game. He fended off a break point with a service winner and fired two more to bring it home and avoid an early setback.

The youngster was there to fight in the first six games before Patrick shifted into a higher gear, taking ten of the last 11 games and crossing the finish line in style! The first break of serve came at 3-3 when Rafter landed a backhand down the line winner.

He confirmed the advantage with four winners in the next one and broke Roger at 15 at 5-3 to grab the opener after half an hour. Dominating with his serve and mesmerizing volleys at the net, Rafter delivered two easy holds at the beginning of the second set.

He secured a break with a perfect lob winner in the fourth game to open a 3-1 gap and take another big step toward the finish line. Serving at 1-4, Federer netted a backhand to suffer the fourth break. Patrick sealed the deal with three winners on his serve a few minutes later, setting the semi-final clash against Andre Agassi.

Roger Federer Patrick Rafter