Roger Federer outclasses Rafael Nadal once more to claim Miami Open title

Samuel Lovett
The Independent
At 35, Federer continues to defy expectation: Getty
At 35, Federer continues to defy expectation: Getty

Roger Federer's remarkable season continues after the 18-time Grand Slam winner outclassed and overpowered Rafael Nadal to lift the Miami Open title on Sunday afternoon.

The Swiss beat his old adversary 6-3 6-4 in a thrilling final at Crandon Park.

Federer's stunning resurgence moves from strength to strength after the 35-year-old took a six-month break last season to recover from a knee injury.

Prior to Sunday's victory, Federer had emerged victorious at both the Australian Open and Indian Wells Masters.

Seeded fourth in Miami, the Swiss survived a series of early scares in a tight first set in the final, and it was he who eventually made his move in the eighth game to convert a break point at the third attempt and give himself a chance to serve for it.

Nadal struggled in vain against Federer's class (Getty)
Nadal struggled in vain against Federer's class (Getty)

Having opened the door, he powered his way through it with a confident service game to take the set 6-3.

Nadal, who was disturbed by a drone flying above the court as he prepared to serve early in the second set, had to defend two break points at 3-3 with Federer's backhand in full flow, but he could not resist at the next time of asking.

A net cord which left the Spaniard in a hopeless position at 30-all handed his opponent another chance to break, and he forced an error to take a 5-4 lead and the opportunity to serve for the title.

Nadal was given hope when Federer opened with a double fault, but he restored parity with a glorious backhand pass and served out to secure victory.

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.

Additional reporting by PA

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