Miami Flashback: Roger Federer achieves record before Rafael Nadal



by JOVICA ILIC

Miami Flashback: Roger Federer achieves record before Rafael Nadal

The Miami Masters settled at Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. Roger Federer played in the semi-final and defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 13 minutes. Thus, the Swiss reached a massive milestone and became the first player with 50 Masters 1000 finals, leaving Rafael Nadal on 49!

The Canadian could not make an impression against his childhood idol in their first clash on the Tour. It was another dominant display from the veteran, who did almost everything right. Roger used every opportunity to attack and overpowered the opponent on serve and return, collecting his 373rd Masters 1000 victory.

Federer served at only 49% but lost eight points behind the initial shot. He erased two break chances and mounted the pressure on the other side, something Denis could not endure. The Canadian struggled on the second serve and got broken three times from 11 opportunities offered to the Swiss.

Roger Federer ousted Denis Shapovalov to reach the 2019 Miami final.

Federer finished the match with 17 winners and eight unforced errors, taming his shots beautifully and leaving Shapovalov on a 14-29 ratio. The youngster sprayed mistakes from both wings equally to drift away from the positive result and propel the rival into the title match.

Also, Roger had a clear advantage in the shortest (38-31), mid-range (21-10) and most extended exchanges (8-4) to wrap up the triumph in style and secure a place in the milestone final. Both players served under 45% in the opener, with one striking difference!

Roger lost four points in his games against the rival's 19. Shapovalov faced seven break chances and suffered two breaks to send Federer miles in front. The youngster started to struggle from 40-15 in the encounter's opening game.

He denied a break point and held after six deuces to avoid an early setback. On the other hand, Roger held at love in game two and found the range on the return in the next one. He clinched the first break when Denis sprayed a massive backhand mistake and built the advantage.

Returning from inside the court and taking the ball early, the Swiss secured another break in game five to open a 4-1 lead after swift 23 minutes. He ruled the court against the opponent who could not forget who was on the other side of the net.

Denis fended off two set points on serve in the seventh game before Roger clinched the opener with a service winner a few minutes later, moving 6-2 up after 35 minutes and building momentum ahead of set number two. Suddenly, the Swiss played against a couple of break chances in the second set's second game.

He fended them off with winners and clinched the game with a solid smash to keep serve intact. The master broke the apprentice in the third game after Shapovalov's forehand error. Roger made a crucial move and delivered three straight holds at love before creating a match point on the return at 5-3.

Shapovalov saved it and extended the duel before Federer crossed the finish line with another commanding hold in game ten, racing into the record-breaking 50th Masters 1000 final.

Roger Federer Rafael Nadal