Roger Federer brings down curtain on his career with a defeat, but still dazzles alongside longtime friend and rival Rafael Nadal.
On a chilly early December evening in Miami, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer warmed up for their upcoming quarterfinal clash against each other at the Miami Open.
Nadal had never lost at the “Little White House.” The first time, he lost a two-setter to Mariano Puerta, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6, and has not lost his match there since. In the last two years the Spaniard has lost his only other match at the “Little White House” — to the eighth seed. Now, having won eight Grand Slams, Nadal was set to win his fourth major title.
A couple of weeks earlier, Federer had come out the winner over Marin Cilic, 6-4, 6-2, 2-6, 6-3. The Swiss had won 10 consecutive one-day games at the ATP Finals and 10 consecutive majors. Federer was scheduled to play Nadal in the final of the Wimbledon Masters, but injured. Federer had announced his retirement for the year. Now, he and Nadal were getting ready for their showdown in the Miami Open.
“It’s just a special moment. I’ve never had a match like it,” Nadal said. “It’s obviously a personal victory, and I am very happy. I know I won’t be the one doing the celebrating, but it’s special for me.”
Nadal made a statement of his own. Federer said he had been “blessed to play with the best in history on that court,” and that he was “looking forward to playing Roger.” Both Federer and Nadal spoke about their feelings on their loss to each other at the end of 2017. Nadal told the International Tennis Federation not to “give out trophies to the winner.” Federer told reporters that he was looking forward to the Wimbledon season. Both players were