Facing each other for the sixth time, Roger Federer took down world no. 1 Lleyton Hewitt in the semi-final of the Miami Masters in 2002, delivering the second triumph over the Aussie. It was the first win for the young Swiss over world no.
1 player, producing a 6-3, 6-4 victory in an hour and 29 minutes for the place in the first Masters 1000 final. Serving at only 54%, Roger drew the most from his initial shot, dropping 15 points in ten service games and fending off all three break chances to mount the pressure on the other side of the net, seizing one break in each set from nine opportunities overall to book the clash against Andre Agassi.
Federer had the edge in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, controlling the pace in the rallies with 29 winners and 26 unforced errors to leave Lleyton far behind. "It's nice to play so well again after that great victory over Pavel.
I got it through all the way and this is why I'm working hard for. It's special, as I have never beaten reigning world no. 1 before, also ending Hewitt's winning streak. It's very nice to be in the first Masters 1000 final, having a chance to win the tournament.
I have played twice against Andre and never beaten him; we even played in my hometown when I was a junior. He is one of the best players in the world on hard courts together with Lleyton; I'm exciting for a chance to play against him and I'm looking forward.
I have a day off tomorrow, with enough time to leave this victory behind and prepare for the next challenge. I didn't panic from the baseline; I could stay with Lleyton in the exchanges when I wanted. I just mixed up my game well and found the good tactics in the last few matches against different rivals; I have to find the right one against Andre as well; otherwise, it's going to be tough.
I have found the rhythm on serve again; that's something I had been missing for a month. I didn't get enough free points and my baseline game wasn't as good as it is now."