ThrowbackTimes Miami: Roger Federer eases past old rival Juan Martin del Potro

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ThrowbackTimes Miami: Roger Federer eases past old rival Juan Martin del Potro

When the draw for the Miami Masters came out in 2017, everyone wanted to see the third-round clash between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro, their first since the ATP Finals 2013! These two players had been connected for ten years, as Roger urged the Basel organizers to gave young Delpo a wild card, also playing 20 times against each other.

From Roland Garros 2012, their previous seven encounters went into a deciding set, but that wasn't the case in Miami four years ago, with Roger scoring a comprehensive 6-3, 6-4 triumph in an hour and 22 minutes. It was the 46th Miami Open victory for Roger, who advanced into the last 16 for the 12th time, skipping the Miami Open in the previous two years.

The Swiss star improved his score to 15-1 in 2017 and was the dominant figure on the court, playing well-balanced and aggressive tennis without too many errors.

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

Roger found the right rhythm promptly after the start and had problems only in two service games, once he served for the opening set and in the second set's eighth game.

Delpo managed to save the first four break points he faced in the first set before Federer converted the fifth at 4-3 with a forehand winner that sent him 5-3 in front. Out of a sudden, 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 and 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, losing 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 when Roger sent a backhand wide in game eight and offered a break chance to his rival. Federer saved it with a service winner and brought a match home with a hold at love at 5-4 and a forehand winner.

Federer had 29 winners and 19 unforced errors, while Delpo stood on a modest 15-18 ratio, which wasn't enough to trouble Roger like he would want to. 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.