Miami Flashback: Roger Federer meets Juan Martin del Potro after a long break

Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro played in the 2017 Miami Open third round

by Jovica Ilic
Miami Flashback: Roger Federer meets Juan Martin del Potro after a long break

As everybody wanted when the draw came out, Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro met in the 2017 Miami Open third round. It was their first duel since the 2013 ATP Finals, and Roger scored a 6-3, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 22 minutes for a place in the last 16.

These two had been connected for ten years, as Roger urged the Basel organizers to give young Delpo a wild card. Also, they met for the 21st time on the Tour. From Roland Garros 2012, their previous seven encounters went into a deciding set.

However, that was not the case in Miami 2017, with Roger scoring a commanding win in just over 80 minutes. It was the 46th Miami Open victory for Roger, who advanced into the last 16 for the 12th time, skipping the event in the previous two years.

The Swiss star improved his score to 15-1 that year and was the dominant figure on the court, playing well-balanced and aggressive tennis without too many errors.

Roger Federer defeated Juan Martin del Potro in the third round in Miami 2017.

Federer had 29 winners and 19 unforced errors, while Delpo stood on a modest 15-18 ratio, insufficient to trouble Roger and prolong the battle.

The Swiss had a clear 52-39 advantage in the shortest points and prevailed in those more extended ones 18-13 to bring the victory home. Roger found the desired rhythm promptly after the start. He had problems only in two service games while serving for the opening set and in the second set's eighth game.

Delpo saved the first four break points in the opener before Roger converted the fifth at 4-3 with a forehand winner that sent him in front. Suddenly, his first serve stopped, and the Argentine had four chances to pull the break back and prolong the set.

Roger played some brave shots, including two forehand winners and an ace to fend them off. He sealed the set with a testy drop shot after 38 minutes. Juan Martin had to bandage his wrist in set number two and looked slower and less powerful after that.

He lost serve at 2-2 when Roger forced a backhand error. Del Potro saved a break opportunity in game seven with an ace and got a final chance to climb back on the scoreboard in the next one. Roger sent a backhand wide and offered his rival a break chance.

Federer saved it with a service winner and brought the match home with a hold at love at 5-4 and a forehand winner.

Roger Federer Juan Martin Del Potro Miami Open