Miami Flashback: Roger Federer sets title clash versus Rafael Nadal
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 1978
Three years after their title clash, Roger Federer and Andre Agassi met in the Miami Open again in 2005, this time in the semi-final. A lot had changed between these two matches, and Roger was now the dominant figure in men's tennis.
The Swiss conquered Doha, Rotterdam, Dubai and Indian Wells at the start of the season and sought the fifth title in Florida. In 2002, Andre prevailed in four sets to claim his fifth Miami crown, lifting another a year later and hoping to stop the clock and celebrate once again at one of his favorite tournaments two years later.
The veteran reached the semi-final, where Roger stood too strong. Federer scored a 6-4, 6-3 victory in an hour and 25 minutes to advance into the title encounter against the young gun Rafael Nadal. World no. 1 fended off all five break chances, challenging the opponent to deliver similar numbers to stay in touch.
Despite giving his best, Andre lost serve twice from eight opportunities offered to Roger, getting broken once in each set to finish his campaign in the semis. Federer had 30 winners and 20 unforced errors, controlling the pace and forging the most significant difference in the shortest points up to four strokes.
Roger Federer beat Andre Agassi in straight sets to reach the 2005 Miami final.
Agassi hoped for a more positive outcome in the most extended rallies, which never happened. Federer matched his pace from the baseline and sealed the deal in straight sets.
Roger held after deuce in the encounter's first game thanks to two winners. He produced another fine hold in the third game before Andre leveled the score at 2-2 with a service winner. They needed under 30 minutes to complete the opening nine games before Federer grabbed a break at 15 at 5-4 to secure the first set, converting the first and only break chance.
With momentum on his side, Roger created break opportunities in the second set's second game. Andre repelled them to end his downfall and level the score at 1-1. Both players served well in the next four games before the American earned five chances at 3-3, looking good to move in front for the first time.
Staying focused, Roger erased those and closed the game with a forehand winner for a great escape. He obtained a massive boost and broke Agassi a few minutes later to move 5-3 up. Federer fell 30-0 behind in the ninth game before firing three winners for a match point.
The Swiss converted it after the American's forced error to seal the deal and advance into his second Miami Open final.