That match established a new order in men’s tennis… Actually between Wimbledon ’03 & Miami ’05, Federer overwhelmed all his potentially toughest opponents (Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan C. Ferrero, Andre Agassi), his total dominance in the years to come seemed unquestionable, yet 18-year-old Nadal showed that his style (awesome court coverage and heavy forehand topspins on Federer’s weaker backhand side) would be very difficult to deal with, for the Swiss maestro in the future. The teenager from Mallorca had sensationally defeated Federer 6-3 6-3 in their first meeting in Miami ’04 (third round), and almost repeated a straight set victory on the same court in the final a year later! Nadal  entered the first of their many mutual finals on a 15-match winning streak. He displayed a tremendous fighting spirit in the 2nd set as he was trailing *2:5 (0/30), 3:5 (0/30) & 4:5 (15/40) to put himself in a comfortable position to win three-sets-to-love cause in the 3rd set he led 4:1* (15/0), later on 5:4 (30-all) and *5:3 in the tie-break. Federer, on his fifth attempt finally managed to win a set against the five years younger rival, and turned the tables winning the 5th set easily. Nadal lost his second five-setter within two months being visibly tired in the decider (previously to Lleyton Hewitt at the Aussie Open). Something like that won’t be repeated in the next ten years, until his third round loss at the US Open ’15 (to Fabio Fognini)!
Federer’s route to his 27th title (6th Masters 1K):
2 Olivier Rochus 6-3, 6-1
3 Mariano Zabaleta 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
4 Mario Ancic 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
Q Tim Henman 6-4, 6-2
S Andre Agassi 6-4, 6-3
W Rafael Nadal 2-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 6-1
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