On Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will meet for the third time this season and the 37th overall in a storied rivalry that began in Miami – Rafa won a third-round match in 2004 and Federer defeated Rafa in the final in 2005.
Date: April 2, 2017
Match time: 1 PM local time / 1 PM EDT – New York, Montreal / 6 PM BST – United Kingdom / 7 PM CET – Spain, France, Germany, Italy / Monday 3 AM AEDT – Melbourne. To convert to your local time, use this website.
I think we played a great match in Australian Open final, but then last week he beat me easier than I want. He’s an unbelievable player. It’s a big challenge for me. For me, the most important thing is to be in the final. I’m gonna try my best. (via Tennis Now)
Roger on playing Rafa:
It feels like old times, playing each other every weekend.
He should have Miami titles and he doesn’t. It’s going to be super-special to be playing him in the finals.
Rafa leads the head-to-head meetings 23-13 (tied 9-9 on hard courts) but Federer has won the past three meetings for the first time in the rivalry. Rafa is 14-8 in final meetings and owns a 12-5 advantage in ATP Masters 1000 tournaments (7-3 in finals).
Rafa has only lost one set en route to his fifth Miami final (2005, 2008, 2011, 2014). This is his 13th appearance in Miami, the most attempts without winning a title. He is trying to become the first Spanish man to win the title. Spaniards are 0-7 in finals. He enters with a 19-4 match record in 2017, the most wins on the ATP World Tour.
GOOD LUCK & VAMOS RAFA!
Source: ATP World Tour
Fed really is better at this point, no denying it. At least on HC.
Rafa shanked an easy FH putaway at 30/15, and his FH was just not firing all match. No way he’s going to beat Fed without the FH.
Ironically (as you said earlier) Novak and/or Andy may have made a difference. Luck of the draw is always a big factor in tennis. I didn’t watch the match and I’m glad I didn’t. I saw the post match interview and Rafa was so gracious he breaks my heart. There is a lot of optimism for the clay court season and I think this will tell us everything. Rafa has won more matches this year than anyone else but his draws haven’t been the worst. I need to give tennis a rest for now – just too gloomy:(
I agree. Did not see the match and yes Rafa’s forehand is not as strong as it normally is. I know I have said this before but hope it would one day filter through to Rafa. Yes at present Roger is winning and normally just by a service break. The two key places I believe would make a difference are. 1. Rafa needs to start landing his FH and BH on the baseline not the service line. If you saw the Oz Open final Fed at times was standing in the doubles line to return Rafas serve and if he gets a free swing he can like Warwinka win the point with a first serve return winner. If you look at Nick Kyrios he lands a lot of his serves down the middle. FOOD FOR THOUGHT. As a left hander I believe the best place for a left hander to serve to second court or fisrt is a body serve. If to second couurt aim for a right handers right hip. He has nowhere to go to get the ball as if he follows the swing he cannot hit the ball and if he steps inside it makes it difficult to have a good strike at the ball.
Hi Paul, I think your reply was meant for Rafalite who mentioned the forehand. Thanks for your analysis – that’s not something I can do. Although I believe Rafa’s problems are not simply down to strategy or technique but there are some physical limitations which he has accepted. He limped badly after Abu Dhabi and after the Dimitrov match was limping and holding his back. I doubt he can keep up his usual standard of play and intensity if there are physical problems. His level seems to have dropped since the AO for no apparent reason.
Saw the final today. Did not notice signs of injury but do not doubt what you are saying. I did notice that Fed’s backhand is incredible. It is as though he has had a left hander hit 1000’s of high loopy balls on his backhand and he is hitting them cleanly if the ball doe not land on the baseline. When you next see Rafa play just notice where his returns are landing and where the opponent is in the court.
I hope you do not think I am being derogatory to you or Rafa. I just think that when he gets more depth he does better. Likewise his service be it first or second serve is being attacked with venom when it does not get into Feds body.
Heres hoping for a GOOD Clay court season for RAFA the most humble or tennis players I have known over the last 40 years.
Rafa needs his FH so bad
working way harder than fed to hold now
Ech 1rst set to Fed.
Rafa was playing him very even till the last service game, then he really imploded on Fed’s service game.
Somehow he needs to hit more FHs. And more depth. Fed is clobbering every short ball.
That has always been rafa’s undoing. Hard to get depth off some of Fed’s offensive shots, that’s the problem.
Better than IW, but still not good enough to take over. He was close at one point.
Glad to here someone who agrees about the depth. Fed is being allowed to dictate the points as the returns are not pushing him behind the baseline
Saw the final today and saw way too many short balls as you state but Rafa does not seem to believe some of the shots Federer is playing as though he is going through the motions of a game plan that used to be successful. Hope he egts more depth and a better selection of where to serve.
Pretty good so far
Rafa is going to Fed’s Fh with his BH that’s the change
doesn’t always work
Rafa needs the confidence for the FHDTL, it’s the only way to beat him
Rafa’s serving is actually as good if not better than Fed’s thus far
Better than I was expecting, rafa has had more chances
C’mon sweet Rafa 😘 I want this to be yours so much – let’s see that brilliant tennis of your 🌟🤗
VAMOOOS CHAMP!! 🎾💪🏼❤️🍀
Sorry… Let’s go Rafa!
READY SET GO…. My heart is already racing… May need to take a Valium . Chanting is not helping right now! Great commentators today… Let’s go over Rafa!
I can only add to your comment Margo (no reply button) that Roger was once Chairman of the ATP. This year he declared he wrote the rulebook on MTO’s. All over youtube is Mirka booing and whistling at Nick for changing his racquet.
He was the MTO specialist at the AO, dubious end of 4th set MTOs against both Waw and Rafa.
Mirka is murky.
Apologies for the delayed response. Am still smarting from Rafa’s loss.
I don’t believe that Roger was ever chairman of the ATP. He was president of the Player Counsil. The “crybaby” incident did not occur during his tenure, if that was your point.
He did voice general opposition to players taking advantage of the MTO rule. According to him, he has never abused MTO.
Tellingly, Roger’s successor, Eric Butorac, was instrumental in securing major increases in prize money for players who lose in the early rounds of Grand Slams. He quoted Roger as having said, “I can’t believe that guys are concerned about first-round prize money if they withdraw and don’t collect their check.” But, Butorac added, “a $40,000 first-round check to a guy ranked 90th in the world is massive.” To quote @Rafalite, “elitist.” That’s Roger. He lacks humility.
As far as his wife is concerned, she is an adult and like many adults, if she chooses to make an ass of herself that’s her business. However, it is my opinion that no one should interrupt any match. Just eject them, no matter who they may be.
RAFA STILL ROCKS NO MATTER WHAT
Him being Chairman of the ATP was from a Fed fan – so could be incorrect. Your version sounds more feasible. Not sure what you mean by cry baby incident. He came under criticism after the AO for his MTO which is when he stated ‘I wrote the rule book’.
I am noting dates and times because there are so many fan comments.
I am confused by your comment of Apr 3, 10:47am.
I have tried to explain to you in the following.
You stated “I can only add to your comment Margo…” Was that to my Apr 2, @4:43pm comment? If yes, I then responded to yours Apr 2, @4:51.
Now that the Fed ATP chairman bit is incorrect, you blame it on a fed fan. You did say, “I can only add..” Why would you waste my time on a Fed fan comment? I thought it was you adding to my comment. I would have had absolutely no problem with that. Just asking a simple question, not offended and I hope you are not offended by my question.
Please see my Apr 2, 4:43pm re crybaby and MTO for clarification.
Seriously Margo, the lengths you go to, to condescend someone. You make a very simple comment into a bitter dispute. This is fan site not a court of law where everything has to be backed up by dates, times and hard evidence. A simple ‘I don’t think Rog was President…’ would suffice. I added and agreed to one of your comments in order to acknowledge it which I thought was I nice gesture. Now I am reminded why I came off this site. You are tiresome.
To be in the real world , facts matter. They do to me anyway. I was in no way, shape or form being condescending.
AT THE VERY BEGINNING of my comment I stated why I was noting dates and times. Did you skip over that?
For your information, there were so many comments on this post (83) I didn’t want you wasting time going through pages of comments.
I don’t understand why you quote misinformation and then blame me for stating “facts.”
Why should I say, “I don’t think Roger was president?” Lie for what? If anything, if I were you, I would be happy I found out the facts from a Rafa fan as opposed to misinformation from a Fed fan. i guess you disagree.
Embrace knowledge with a smile, not with recriminations. If I offended you, my apologies because my statement was not meant offensively.
RAFA STILL ROCKS
Margo, please,.. it was probably just a choice of bad wording from the source: Chair of ATP or Players President/Chair of ATP. It does not matter. Everyone on here has been a valuable source of information (and misinformation) including yourself but I don’t keep a dossier on everyone. Please do have the last word as always. I will not read or respond to your comments in future – end of.
You see how you respond? Dossier? Gimme a break.
Hello fellow Rafa fans,
I’m feeling that usual high anticipatory alertness (and dread) before a Rafa final. I am especially worried about this one–based on Roger’s recent successes against Nadal and his general hot streak. At the same time I remind myself how close he came to losing against both Berd and Nick. Berd choked MP and Nick went for a reckless 2nd serve after being pissed off by the crowd yelling out while he was about a hit a ball. Fed got let off the hook both times, with a little help from the crowd.
Fed has led a charmed life on the courts lately. It seems to be his fate. I see lots of comments below about Fed’s arrogance and entitlement and this has bothered me about him from the getgo.
So my feelings about this one are absolutely loaded to the max. Way worse than Rafa losing to Djokovic (which I got used to).
Fog was no test at all but Sock was and so was Kohl. Rafa found what he needed. Fed is another thing entirely and it will so interesting to see what new approach–if any–Rafa has to the improved Fed BH. I couldn’t help feeling that when Rafa got it deep enough to BH with enough spin, Fed still couldn’t attack it. So much depends on shot penetration with Rafa.
One thing I thought watching the Fog/Rafa match was how much I wished Rafa had gone to Moya (or someone!) earlier. Fed/Djok and Murray were all relentless in their search for ever better coaching. Rafa stayed put with Tony. Since Moya all kinds of things have changed for the better with Rafa (mainly the serving). Anyway, that’s water under the bridge, but i can’t help lamenting that late choice to find additional coaching …
For what it’s worth Fed has a slight edge with the oddsmakers, but I read several tennis journalists predicting a Rafa win. If it’s windy, that could help Rafa. So please be windy.
Surprised journalists predicting a Rafa win but good to hear! (I don’t read them anymore – too many of them are cheap and nasty).
So true. There’s not a single one I like, used to like Tignor, Jon Wertheim isn’t too bad.
Just saw one predict Rafa–that was Tignor–but he’s almost always wrong. He predicted Rafa Ao and Indian Wells against Fed too.
Oh No! Then Rafa definitely loses!:(
I agree with you totally about the lack of depth with Rafs returns. I love the guy to daeth and would love to see him beat Fed again. Don’t think it will happen unless as you say:
1 KEEP THE RETURNS deeper as it does not give Roger the time to attack with his backhand which he is now able to do as are many of the other players who have been beating him.
2. He seems to rely too often on his serve swinging wide in the second court. At times Fed and others are standing in the doubles lines anticipating that serve.
He would be better served in serving more down the middle with the swing on the ball aiming for a right handers right hip. Picture how difficult is is if the ball is approaching your forehand and swinging in to you body. The use of a body seerve I find is winning Nich Kyrios many free points.
Vamos Rafa All te best fore the clay court season
i am sorry but for me this match is very important. Although nadal has a much better start ten last two years. This match will determine a lot. This is nadal perhaps last opportunity to win the miami open. With the upcoming stars zverev and krygios and off course still djokovic and murray it will be much difficult to win this tournament in the future. Nadal can break the momentum of federer by beating him in the final. That will carry him as a favorite for the clay court season a much better position then he had the last two years. In order to do that he needs to have a great start. If nadal wins the first set its going to be difficult for federer to win since he survived tight three setters against krygios and berdych.
Nadal needs to do a couple of things:
– serve well he cant afford a nervous or shaky start (federer return is nowadays just like the djokovic return
– play very agressive
– stay closer to the baseline and put depth in your returns and groundstrokes
– attack roger forehand and try to avoid his backhand( roger backhand is unbelievable at the moment)
– hit the backhand and forehand down the line often
– come to the net
Good morning fellow Rafa fans, I know that we are all pulling for a win today. Rafa is going to try his best, but I worry that he will be very nervous. Roger is playing at such a high level and his serve is still a weapon. Win or lose, Rafa is off to a great 2017. Let’s just remember where we were the last two years.