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UPDATES: When Roger Federer successfully finished Third Sunshine Double

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Roger Federer greeting

In the year 2017, the Swiss maestro Roger Federer snapped his five-year-old Grand Slam-less streak at Australian Open finals. He bounced back from a break down situation in the fifth set and pulled off the 18th Slam against his greatest adversary, Rafael Nadal.

The victory in Melbourne was followed by his six-month-long hiatus from professional tennis. That win is arguably considered one of the best comebacks in tennis. And Federer’s revived backhands during that tournament are still revered today.

His comeback was not just limited to Melbourne, Federer extended his title victories on the courts of USA. Roger Federer lived two fairy-tale weeks during the big tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

Roger Federer playing

He stepped on the courts of Palm Springs in California as the ninth seed of the tournament. After a straightforward first-round victory, Federer had to take the extra mile in his next match against Steve Johnson.

Roger Federer vs Rafael Nadal
Following that win, his arch-rival Rafael Nadal was waiting for in the round-of-16. And his blitzing backhands from the baseline, left the Spaniard perplexed on the desert court. In little more than an hour, Federer swept aside his Spanish nemesis 6-2, 6-3.

Post his one-sided loss, Rafa praised Roger’s game. That day, the Swiss played some inhuman tennis and Nadal said, “it’s difficult to play against Roger this way.”

Roger Federer greeting

Maintaining his dominance in the following matches, Federer stormed into the finals to set up the title clash against his compatriot Stan Wawrinka. In the battle of Helvetians, Federer was victorious over Wawrinka.

After losing a close 6-4, 7-5 final match against his friend and foe Federer, Wawrinka became emotional and funny during the on-court interview. “I would like to congratulate Roger,” Wawrinka said with teary eyes. “He’s laughing. He’s an asshole, but it’s OK,” he joked.

Post that win, at the then-35-year-old Roger, he became the oldest Masters 1000 finalist and champion ever. Throughout his stay in Indian Wells Federer did not drop a set.

Roger Federer and animal

Moving to the courts of Florida, Federer faced a few tough opponents en route to his Miami title. After straight-set victories over Frances Tiafoe, Juan Martin del Potro and Roberto Bautista Agut, Thomas Berdych was a tough challenge in the quarterfinals.

The Nick Kyrgios Test
After 6–2, 3–6, 7–6(8-6) win Roger’s path to the finals became more difficult. With Nick Kyrgios as the semifinal opponent, the Swiss had to tussle for three-long hours to reserve his final berth.

With Kyrgios acing 130 miles per hour serves and Federer coming up with SABR, the Miami audience experienced a great tennis evening that day. With the Swiss syncing in with the atmosphere and coming up god-level tennis, Roger Federer won 7-6 (11-9), 6-7 (9-11), 7-6 (7-5) against Kyrgios.

Roger Federer action

Up next was the match for Federer’s third American Sunshine Double crown. Federer was once again playing his greatest-rival Nadal for the third time in 2017.

The match could have been pulled off by either of the two, but Federer did amazingly well on big points. It was a 6-3, 6-4 win for the Swiss to clinch his third Sunshine Double and that added value to his glittering comeback in 2017.

ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Roger Federer experiences toughest defeat since 2005
Children and Roger Federer

After four dominant years on the men’s Tour, Roger Federer had to slow down a little bit in 2008, winning four titles and suffering 15 losses overall, a significant number when we know he had only 24 between 2004-07. Novak Djokovic toppled him in straight sets in the semi-final of the Australian Open, so as Andy Murray in the first round of Dubai, with the Swiss traveling to Indian Wells eager to improve his form and restore the order at the event he won three titles in the last four years.

Federer lost 14 games in the first three rounds against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Nicolas Mahut and Ivan Ljubicic before Tommy Haas gave him a walkover in the quarters to set up a clash with world no. 98 Mardy Fish. The American kicked off the season ranked inside the top-40 but lost the ground in the first couple of months, entering Indian Wells ranked barely inside the top-100 after failing to defend the points in the previous tournaments.

Roger Federer looking

He picked up the form in the desert and played one of his best matches ever to topple Federer 6-3, 6-2 in 64 minutes, advancing to his second Masters 1000 final after Cincinnati 2003! It was their sixth meeting and the first triumph for Mardy who dropped the last nine sets played against the great Swiss.

Besides that, it was the worst defeat for Roger on hard courts in terms of the rival’s ranking since Indianapolis 2000 when James Sekulov (191st) ousted him 6-4, 7-5 just before the 19th birthday, and also his toughest loss overall since Monte Carlo 2005 and Richard Gasquet.

Roger Federer speaking

It was even more unusual to witness such a commanding win for Fish when we know he served at only 34%, drawing the most from the initial shot and losing only 13 points in his games, saving the only break point he faced to keep the pressure on the other side of the net.

Roger struggled to find the rhythm and his serve was exposed by Mardy’s deep and precise returns, dropping 43% of the points in his games and getting broken thrice from seven chances offered to the American. Fish controlled his shots more efficiently, finishing the encounter with 26 winners and 19 unforced errors, in comparison to 14 winners and 25 mistakes from Roger who couldn’t fight for at least one set.

It was the best possible start for Mardy, firing a forehand winner to break Roger in game two and setting the tone for the rest of the clash. Federer could have pulled the break back in the very next game, netting a return on the break chance, the only he would create in this encounter.

Roger Federer logo

The American completed the game with two aces, forging a 3-0 lead after just nine minutes. The Swiss was far below his usual level, having to save two break points in game four to get his name on the scoreboard and reduce the deficit to 3-1, hoping to raise his game and return to the positive side of the scoreboard.

That didn’t happen, though, with confident Fish closing the opening set with a hold at 15 at 5-3 after a forehand error from Federer. Things went from bad to worse for world no. 1, getting broken at the beginning of the second set after a return winner from Mardy who cemented the lead with an ace in game two for a set and a break advantage.

Roger federer ball

Roger’s return stayed somewhere on the practice court and Fish grabbed another game with a service winner to increase the lead to 3-1 and move closer to the finish line. His triumph became inevitable after a break in game five, opening a 5-1 advantage with a hold at love and forcing his rival to serve for staying in the match after only an hour.

Roger saved two match points to prolong his campaign, although it was all over when Mardy held at 15 in game eight for his most significant victory in a career and the place in the final where he would lose to Novak Djokovic.

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