Nadal beats Federer with ease at Key Biscayne

Posted: 02/04/2011 in ATP

Nadal routs Federer, will meet Djokovic in Miami final

Rafael Nadal overpowered Roger Federer to record a surprisingly easy semifinal victory Friday at the $4.5 million Sony Ericsson Open, the second straight ATP Masters event.

The top-seeded Nadal recorded the 6-3, 6-2 win in about 79 minutes, breaking his Swiss opponent four times and dropping only 10 points on serve.

He will meet sizzling-hot former champion Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final. The second-seeded Djokovic stayed undefeated in 2011 by handling 14th-seeded American Mardy Fish, 6-3, 6-1, in Friday’s first semifinal on the hardcourts at the Tennis Center at Crandon Park.

But whereas Djokovic’s victory did not surprise — he had never lost to Fish entering the match — Nadal’s win, or at least the way he won, did.

Federer had won the last installment of the great rivalry, the championship match at the 2010 ATP World Tour Finals. He is also a two-time winner at Miami and beat Nadal in the 2005 final.

But he struggled with his serve Friday. While he recorded six aces, Federer won only 31-of-58 service points. The 16-time major champion also had little answer for Nadal’s serve, failing to convert either of the break points he had.

There had not been such a lopsided result in the rivalry since 2009, when Federer was a 6-4, 6-4 winner in the Madrid Masters title match.

Nadal improved his lifetime record against Federer to 15-8, and will next seek to take down the hottest player in men’s tennis, Djokovic.

The Serbian slugger is a flawless 23-0 this year after waiting through a rain delay to wrap up his 85-minute defeat of Fish. Djokovic’s record includes his title run at the Australian Open in January. The 2007 champion and 2009 Miami runner-up has also captured titles in Dubai and Indian Wells this season,

Djokovic’s Indian Wells victory came at Nadal’s expense, though that was only his eighth win in 24 tries against the reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion.

Nadal will look to extend his record for Masters crowns to 19 on Sunday, while Djokovic will be going for his 22nd career title.

The 2011 Miami champion will collect $611,000.

– Steve


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