Federer denies Kyrgios, will battle Nadal for Miami crown
Roger Federer beat Australia's Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (11/9), 6-7 (9/11), 7-6 (7/5) in a thriller on Friday to set up a mouth-watering Miami Open final against Rafael Nadal.
The 35-year-old will now take on arch-rival Nadal for the 37th time after he extended his impressive record in 2017 to 18 wins and one defeat.
And if the first two sets had been intense, the pressure was amped up for the decider but somehow, neither player faced a single break point on their serve with the tie heading for a third tiebreak in as many sets! "You don't very often play three breakers in a match".
The big final is going to take place tomorrow, we can not wait to see the big confrontation between the megastars. He had reached the semifinals of Dubai Championships and Delray Beach Open.
Kyrgios said afterward that he was not surprised Federer had the fans on his side.
The break of the Spanish to get 6-5 left at the mercy of his service to pass to the final, which came with a game in white and already with little resistance from the Italian who had beaten him on three occasions in 2015.
Throughout the match Kyrgios displayed his typical fire, throwing his racket a few times and regularly admonishing himself and the crowd, but his tennis never wavered.
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The two all-time greats squared off in the final of this prestigious event back in 2005-their second-ever meeting overall-and Federer won in five sets.
When Australian Open champion Federer scrambled to victory two points later, Kyrgios swatted his racquet three times into the court. "I was playing really bad". Ultimately, I think I put in a good performance.
Federer and Nadal will meet in the Miami final as the top-two players on year-to-date rankings on tour. "I think he's good for the game".
Meanwhile, Kyrgios - who was booed by the Miami crowd throughout - added: "I feel like my level of tennis has always been high, but mentally I'm competing for every point now". The Swiss Maestro has a three-match winning streak active against Nadal, one that has improved the complexion of their head-to-head series from Federer's point of view a bit.
At 5-5, however, just when it looked as if Fognini might force a decisive third set, he double faulted and Nadal grabbed the break before sealing the match four points later.
Those numbers were a reflection of the solid baseline play of Nadal, who committed just 12 unforced errors in the contest while striking the ball with sufficient aggressiveness to keep Fognini from getting into an attacking position.
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