Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal, Miami Open 2017 final: Federer seals the Sunshine Double with straight-sets win

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Relive Federer's straight sets win in the 2017 Miami Open final

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The Independent Online

Roger Federer continued his recent mastery of Rafa Nadal when he beat his great rival 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday.

Federer, peerless this year after returning from a six-month injury absence, broke once in each set on the Crandon Park hardcourt for his fourth consecutive victory over the Spaniard.

Nadal still leads their career head-to-head record at 23-14, due entirely to his superiority on clay, but Federer now leads 10-9 on hardcourt.

Federer improved to 19-1 this year, winning the Australian Open in five sets over Nadal, and Paribas Open in straight sets over Stan Wawrinka.

His only loss was at the hands of Russian Evgeny Donskoy in the second round in Dubai. 

Relive all of the action below...

Live Updates

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2017 Miami Open final, between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
 
Crandon Park is filling up nicely and the two players are due on court very soon. 
The players are out on the court and they're currently knocking up. Federer in the lurid green shirt he's been sporting all tournament long, Nadal in yellow.
Here we go! Federer wins the toss and will serve first.
Federer 1-0 Nadal* (* denotes next server)
 
What an opening game! Nadal is stepping up to meet Federer's serve very early and it's a tactic that pays off as he races to 30-40 and gets himself an early break point.
 
Federer battles back to deuce, but splays an errant backhand well wide of the line to hand Nadal another break point. He serves it with some classic serve and volley, though, and then an ace puts him in control. 
 
He sends his first-serve slap bang down the middle of the court, before Nadal belts his backhand into the net. Federer survives the first game.
Federer* 1-1 Nadal 
 
This is a very bright start from Nadal. He's serving comfortably above 120mph, and gets himself into a 40-15 lead in no time.
 
But Federer drags things out for a little bit longer when he belts a powerful return at an acute angle, which races past Nadal. No matter: Nadal wins the next point and it's all-square. 
Federer 2-1 Nadal*
 
Some great play at the net and yet another ace for Federer, as the Swiss moves into a 40-15 lead. Nadal then pushes a routine return long, and it's a far more comfortable hold for Federer at the second time of asking. 
Federer* 2-2 Nadal
 
A superb rally gets this game underway, which is brought to an end by Nadal pushing his forehand just a little wide, as he attempted to push Federer beyond the baseline. He pushes his next shot wide, too, attempting to punish the aggressive Federer by belting a cross-court passing shot out of the reach of his rival. 0-30.
 
Federer in a good position here ... but he miscues a forehand which loops out of play to hand Nadal his first point. He then steps up into the net to punish a tame Nadal second serve but again mis-hits, smacking the ball way beyond the line. 
 
But Nadal hands Federer a break point when he lazily cracks another forehand out of play. A good chance for the Australian Open champion to break early on ... but he fails to read a powerful Nadal body-serve, daubing his return low into the net.
 
Nadal is left frustrated moments later when an unforced error hands Federer another break point; he saves it with an ace. And then he takes control of the game, defending a passing shot and charging to the net, where he slams a smash-shot past his rival.
 
How does he win the game? With a big first serve straight down the middle, of course. 2-2.
Federer 3-2 Nadal*
 
Federer is doing a very good job of mixing up his serves and is quickly into a 30-0 lead. He's also attacking the net whenever possible, with Nadal having a hard time to squeeze any passing shots beyond him.
 
Nadal does force Federer into an error at 40-15, though, getting plenty of topspin on his return which Federer misreads. And he then has every fan on their feet with a crunching return down the line, punishing an 85mph second serve from RFed. 
 
And then a chance for a break! Federer goes too wide with his cross-court forehand to give Nadal a break point. The Spaniard attempts to capitalize with another big down the line return only to clip the tape, levelling things up again.
 
Two wide backhands later, and it's another Federer hold. What a start to this final!
 
 
Federer* 3-3 Nadal
 
Nadal is playing some big, ambitious shots from beyond the baseline and is struggling with his range a wee bit. He's clearly trying to deter Federer from attacking the net too much - which he of course does so well - but at the moment Nadal is sending a number of shots long, which you can ill afford to do against a player of Federer's pedigree. 
 
One such error hands the first point of the game to the Swiss, although Federer then fails to deal with two big forehands from Nadal, first clipping the net and then knocking his return long. Nadal then blasts his backhand into the net, and it's 30-all.
 
And then a moment of magic from Federer! Nadal comes into the net and goes for the cross-court shot, looking to take advantage of Federer shuffling back into a central position. But Federer reads it perfectly, dropping low and sending the ball outrageously back down the line with a one-handed flick of the wrist. Genius.
 
Nadal stays calm though and wins the next couple of points, including a fine back and forth encounter at the net, which culminates in a stooping Federer tapping the ball low into the net. And then another fine body serve, and then the game.
Federer 4-3 Nadal*
 
Now some brilliance from Nadal! Two errors see Federer move into a 30-0 lead, but Nadal gets himself back into the game with a monstrous cross-court forehand which Federer can only watch whizz past him. The Spaniard likes that, so much so that he replicates the shot seconds later, beating Federer with a carbon copy of his winner. 30-all.
 
And now break point! Nadal is stepping in and taking the ball so early and he catches Federer unawares with a powerful body shot, which the Swiss can only slice awkwardly out of play. Can he press home his advantage?
 
Almost! The pair exchange in a wonderful rally, Nadal on top until his forehand hits the top of the net and loops high, allowing Federer time to scamper back into the middle of the court and take control. He ends up winning the point, and holds when Nadal's attempted lob on the next point drops long.
 
 
Federer* 5-3 Nadal
 
How much will Nadal come to rue those break points? Federer surely won't hand him too many opportunities in this match ... and two big forehands down the line get him to 15-30 in Nadal's service game.
 
Nadal gets things to 30-all seconds later, smashing a huge serve down the middle of the court which Federer is somehow able to return - but only at the first time of asking. A gunshot forehand wins Federer a break point, only for Nadal to dig deep, whistling an ace past his opponent to take things to deuce.
 
And then two quite ridiculous shots from Federer. The first an outrageously powerful backhand return down the line. Nadal wins the next point, only for Federer to follow that up with a crunching cross-court forehand to regain control. Nadal then nets his forehand on the next point and Federer breaks.
 
The Swiss is now serving for the first set!
 
 
 
It really is that good. Both men are playing out of their skin. 
Federer 6-3 Nadal*
 
Nadal overcompensating a little for the situation he currently finds himself in ... he belts four successive forehands long in the least competitive game of the afternoon. Federer holds to 15 and takes the first set 6-3.
 
 
Some first-set stats before we resume:
 
Winners: Federer 18-9 Nadal
Points won on serve: Federer 25/38 - Nadal 19/34
Net points won: Federer 7/10 - Nadal 4/5
Total points won: Federer 40-32 Nadal
Unforced errors: Federer 10-10 Nadal
Federer* 6-3, 0-1 Nadal
 
Rafa returns from a comfort break just in time for the second set, and he's wearing a completely new outfit. A wise call, he was absolutely dripping in sweat by the end of that first-set, it's looking exceptionally humid out on court. And with both men maintaining such a furious intensity, things could get interesting late on.
 
Anyway, Nadal makes a good start to this game, hitting an unreturnable serve down the line to go 30-15 up. He then gets very, very lucky on the next point. Federer cranks up that forehand for a big cross-court winner, only for the ball to clip the tape and skid up, leaving Nadal with the chance to belt a forehand down the line.
 
He wins the next point, and holds. 
Federer 6-3, 1-1 Nadal*
 
Superb tennis from Federer. He's experiencing a lot of joy with his forehand, with an outstanding average forehand speed of over 84mph. Three of those bad-boys, along with a smart backhand that wrongfoots his rival, see Federer hold to love.

What time is it?

Federer and Nadal will meet in the final of the Miami Open on Sunday 2 April.

The players are due on court shortly after 6pm.

Where can I watch it?

Sky Sports 3 will be showing live coverage of the eagerly-awaited match, with their programme beginning at 6pm.

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Federer won when the pair met in the final of the Australian Open (Getty)

How did the two men reach the final?

Roger Federer needed more than three hours to outlast Kyrgios 7-6(9) 6-7(9) 7-6(5) in a pulsating Miami Open semi-final on Friday to set up another mouthwatering final clash with Nadal.

The Swiss, who has won two of his last three tournaments including the Australian Open, had to dig deep to get through a second straight test after fending off a match point in his quarter-final victory over Tomas Berdych.

In the third round Federer beat Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets, while he comfortably saw off Juan Martín del Potro in the third round in an impressive performance. The young American Frances Tiafoe was safely dispatched in the first match.

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Federer made light work of the vociferously supported Del Potro (Getty)

Nadal, who lost all four of his previous Miami Open finals, will be out to snap a run of three straight defeats against Federer, including in the Melbourne final and at Indian Wells.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a far smoother route to the final. He beat both Fabio Fognini and Jack Sock in straight sets, in the semi-finals and quarter-finals respectively.

The veteran Nicolas Mahut was swept aside in the fourth round, with Nadal recovering from a slight blip against Philipp Kohlschreiber – he was bagelled in the first set – to win in three. Dudi Sela was seen off with little trouble in the second.

What are they saying?

Roger Federer: "It's great winning this way, especially of course I remember the loss against him few years ago.

"I know I can't always show my fighting skills because everything else sort of takes over."

Rafa Nadal: "Winning here would be something great, and an important title I haven't won. I served well (today). That gives you calm when you have opportunities on the return."

Head to head record:

Overall:

P36. Roger Federer 13-23 Rafael Nadal.

Last five:

2017 Indian Wells Masters, hard-outdoor, R16, Federer, 6-2, 6-3.
2017 Australian Open, hard-outdoor, F, Federer, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.
2015 Basel, hard-indoor, F, Federer, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
2014 Australian Open, hard-outdoor, SF, Nadal, 7-6 (4), 6-3, 6-3.
2013 Tour Championship-London, hard-indoor, SF, Nadal, 7-5, 6-3.

Further reading:

Odds:

Federer to win: 7/10
​Nadal to win: 15/13

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