The 35-year-old star advanced to the Miami Open final with a physically grueling 7-6 (9), 6-7 (9), 7-6 (5) victory over Nick Kyrgios in Friday’s semifinal matchup. A win over Rafael Nadal in Sunday’s final would mean a third 2017 title for Federer after he prevailed at the Australian Open and BNP Paribas Open. –via Bleacher Report
What are some of the greatest rivalries in sports? You might think Boston Red Sox vs New York Yankees, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, India vs Pakistan. Although those rivalries are great but they are not the best in Sports, that mantle would have to go to the match up that tennis fans call Fedal. Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, is not only the best rivalry in sports, but it might be in mankind. Close second is God vs Satan and Troy vs Sparta rounds out the top three.
The two players are the greatest tennis players of all time, how they are ranked in the top two is different for every person that you ask. For me, Federer gets the edge based on the number of Grand Slams won, but an argument can be made for Nadal based on the overall Head to Head between the two players. The two will meet for the 37th time on Sunday in the final of the Miami Masters.
As I said a couple of weeks ago, Roger Federer was on a magical run this season. That run does not look like it is going to stop anytime soon, he ousted a young Kyrgios in a match that lasted around three hours, a feat unheard for a 35-year old. He comes into the final tonight, being ranked #4 in the ATP Live Rankings. Even if he goes on lose tomorrow, he will still be ranked #4. He came into the Australian Open this year being ranked outside of the Top-15, he will go into the clay court season being ranked in the Top-5. Most people had considered his career over before he won the first point down under in Melbourne, boy are those people wrong. His performance this season has simply been amazing, even though he gotten lucky by not facing Andy Murray or Novak Djokovic in the tournaments he has won. He will be the odds-on favorite in the final tonight, in a tournament that he is looking to win after quite some time.
Rafael Nadal has also had a magical run in 2017, his run has been overshadowed by the one of Federer. Nadal, who many did not think would be able to get fully healthy and win big matches, has proved his doubters wrong. If a couple points go the other way, Nadal would come into Miami with a Grand Slam and a Masters win under his belt this season. Nadal looks healthy for the first time in quite some time, which is scary for every other player on the ATP Tour. Nadal is on his longest head to head losing streak against Roger Federer, after dropping the last three match ups. Snapping the losing streak will definitely be in his head during the match tonight. He still holds a lead that is simply insurmountable in the Head to Head between the two players. Today’s match could be a classic and it might the rubber game between the two, before we go into the clay and grass court season.
The players went head to head for the first time ever right here in Miami, 13 years ago. The two have met 35 times since and will meet for the 37th time tonight. Nadal has a 10 match advantage, and it does not look like Federer will be able to catch up, but at this point I would be not surprised if Federer is somehow able to do it. The Fedal matchup has produced some of the greatest matches in tennis history. The Finals of 2008 Wimbledon, 2009 Australian Open are right up there as the greatest matches in the sport’s history. The two met in a Grand Slam final for the first time in almost six years, this January in Melbourne. The match was back and back the whole time and it was certainly an instant classic. Tennis fans were simply excited to see both players on the same court again, what happened once the first ball went in the air was just cherry on a top of a great sundae. Federer was able to come back and win in a 5-set thriller and become a Grand Slam champ once again.
No one knows how much longer each player is going to play on the ATP tour. Every time they meet each other in the final of a tournament, it is a delight for tennis fans, tonight should be the same. We have to cherish these last few times that we will witness the greatest rivalry in mankind.