Roger Federer v Rafael Nadal: Miami Open final – live!
… or, as the ATP website would have it, their 37th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting. As both men contemplate the ageing process (although both are doing a pretty good job of ignoring it) they’ve adopted a loving tone about a relationship that was kind of warm and fuzzy to begin with. Here’s Roger on today’s FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting: “It feels like old times. We’re playing each other every week now. We can’t get enough of each other,” Federer said. Is there a word that means nostalgia, romance and athleticism all the same time? If it’s not FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting then it should be.
Hello! I had a terrible nightmare last night that it was 2017 and the world was zooming towards the apocalypse, robots were after my job, Criminal Minds was still on TV and Stan Wawrinka had won three grand slams. But then I read that it’s Nadal v Federer in a Masters final and was reassured we’re still back in good old 2009. I wonder if Andy Murray will ever win Wimbledon?
Tom will be here shortly, in the meantime here’s Andrew Anthony on Roger’s resurgence:
Two comeback kids met in Miami and played a very fine match of tennis this week. One was Juan Martín del Potro, the lanky, lugubrious Argentinian who has suffered two career-threatening wrist injuries. Since returning last year, after a two‑year hiatus, he narrowly lost to Andy Murray in the Olympic final and led Argentina to their first Davis Cup win.
His is an uplifting story of triumph over adversity, stalwart determination in the face of debilitating physical and psychological setbacks. He played beautifully this week, with his elegant backhand slice and his thunderous slap of a forehand. But unfortunately for him he was up against Roger Federer, who, at 35 and following his own long lay-off with a knee injury and then a back injury, is playing perhaps the best tennis of his life.
Given that Federer is arguably the best player in history, that would make his tennis right now the best there has ever been. That’s an extremely large claim that is probably easier to shoot down than support. But there is no doubt that Federer, that most heavenly of players, is enjoying a second coming at an age when most top players are either retired or long past their peak.