Why Federer Didn’t Expect To Win Miami

The 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau was all about new beginnings, but in the end, some things never change.

On Sunday, Roger Federer became the first champion at the new Hard Rock Stadium, completing an impressive run to the title with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of John Isner. After conceding his opening set of the tournament to Radu Albot, he was nearly flawless from there, blitzing the field for his fourth tournament title.

One year after succumbing to Thanasi Kokkinakis in an opening-round stunner, Federer admits that he wasn’t entirely sure of his return to the ATP Masters 1000 event. But, eager to return to his winning ways in Miami, the Swiss says the decision wasn’t a difficult one.

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“It’s easy to say that last year didn’t work out, so I won’t come back this year,” said Federer. “And as I’m playing clay, maybe add rather another clay-court event. But I felt like let’s extend the hard court season. Let’s see the new venue. To be honest, I think that was something also I was excited to see… So I’m happy with the team we took the right decision.

“Of course you feel fortunate when you come all the way to the end of the event and you can sit here with the trophy. It’s definitely a moment you appreciate a lot, because you know it could have turned out very different.

“And also the secret was I was more positive this year after losing in Indian Wells over last year. Because last year I was, I don’t want to say frustrated, but I think I was down on myself. I think it cost me a little bit on confidence because I was so down. So maybe this year I didn’t feel that way. Let’s go to Miami and have a good tournament. And I did.”

Federer notched his 101st tour-level crown, 28th at the ATP Masters 1000 level and fourth in Miami. Previously the champion at the old site on Key Biscayne in 2005, 2006 and 2017, the Swiss has fond memories of his time in South Florida.

In his post-match speech, an elated Federer reflected on his experiences competing in the area. From his junior days competing at Flamingo Park and The Biltmore to his Miami Open debut in 1999, the region has a special place in the 37-year-old’s heart.

“The other three [Miami titles] were very special in many ways,” Federer added. “I felt like it reflected who I have become until that moment. These Masters 1000s are hard to win. They are really a test for me, especially later in my career. So I know these don’t come around very often, so when they do, it’s a bit of a surprise for me. That’s why this one feels really cool in many ways.

“Being able to fight back [vs. Nadal in the 2005 final] and find a way to win, I ended up playing unbelievable tennis. I really feel like it was a big moment for me in my life and in my career there. The final against Ivan [Ljubicic] was just during the time when I was dominating so much and I was thinking how many times could I beat Ivan in a row. All these things were happening. It was just a matter of extending whatever you can and for as long as you can.

“And then of course the win here two years ago, maybe as much as it didn’t come as a surprise for people, for me it still did, because I felt like the tank was empty. I had a tough week here against Berdych and Kyrgios, as well. And I also didn’t expect this one, to be honest. I lost in a very close final in Indian Wells and it was a new venue. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Federer will next compete at the Mutua Madrid Open, making his return to clay for the first time in three years. His last match on the surface came at the 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. He did not compete on the surface in 2017-18 to give his body a break ahead of the grass season. And while the Swiss says he is ready to make his clay comeback, he admits his confidence is low in making the transition.

“I’m not very confident going into this clay court season, I can tell you that. I didn’t even remember how to slide anymore. I’m taking baby steps at this point. I didn’t play one point – not one shot – on clay last year. Two years ago I played two days. Three years ago I played not feeling great in Monte-Carlo and Rome and all that. It’s been so little that I really don’t know what to expect.

“What this win does for me is it just takes even more pressure off from the clay-court season. That’s what I’m looking at now the next four or five weeks, figuring out how we are going to go about it. I’m very excited. It’s a good challenge, a good test.”

Why Federer Didn’t Expect To Win Miami

The 2019 Miami Open presented by Itau was all about new beginnings, but in the end, some things never change.

On Sunday, Roger Federer became the first champion at the new Hard Rock Stadium, completing an impressive run to the title with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of John Isner. After conceding his opening set of the tournament to Radu Albot, he was nearly flawless from there, blitzing the field for his fourth tournament title.

One year after succumbing to Thanasi Kokkinakis in an opening-round stunner, Federer admits that he wasn’t entirely sure of his return to the ATP Masters 1000 event. But, eager to return to his winning ways in Miami, the Swiss says the decision wasn’t a difficult one.

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“It’s easy to say that last year didn’t work out, so I won’t come back this year,” said Federer. “And as I’m playing clay, maybe add rather another clay-court event. But I felt like let’s extend the hard court season. Let’s see the new venue. To be honest, I think that was something also I was excited to see… So I’m happy with the team we took the right decision.

“Of course you feel fortunate when you come all the way to the end of the event and you can sit here with the trophy. It’s definitely a moment you appreciate a lot, because you know it could have turned out very different.

“And also the secret was I was more positive this year after losing in Indian Wells over last year. Because last year I was, I don’t want to say frustrated, but I think I was down on myself. I think it cost me a little bit on confidence because I was so down. So maybe this year I didn’t feel that way. Let’s go to Miami and have a good tournament. And I did.”

Federer notched his 101st tour-level crown, 28th at the ATP Masters 1000 level and fourth in Miami. Previously the champion at the old site on Key Biscayne in 2005, 2006 and 2017, the Swiss has fond memories of his time in South Florida.

In his post-match speech, an elated Federer reflected on his experiences competing in the area. From his junior days competing at Flamingo Park and The Biltmore to his Miami Open debut in 1999, the region has a special place in the 37-year-old’s heart.

“The other three [Miami titles] were very special in many ways,” Federer added. “I felt like it reflected who I have become until that moment. These Masters 1000s are hard to win. They are really a test for me, especially later in my career. So I know these don’t come around very often, so when they do, it’s a bit of a surprise for me. That’s why this one feels really cool in many ways.

“Being able to fight back [vs. Nadal in the 2005 final] and find a way to win, I ended up playing unbelievable tennis. I really feel like it was a big moment for me in my life and in my career there. The final against Ivan [Ljubicic] was just during the time when I was dominating so much and I was thinking how many times could I beat Ivan in a row. All these things were happening. It was just a matter of extending whatever you can and for as long as you can.

“And then of course the win here two years ago, maybe as much as it didn’t come as a surprise for people, for me it still did, because I felt like the tank was empty. I had a tough week here against Berdych and Kyrgios, as well. And I also didn’t expect this one, to be honest. I lost in a very close final in Indian Wells and it was a new venue. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Federer will next compete at the Mutua Madrid Open, making his return to clay for the first time in three years. His last match on the surface came at the 2016 Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. He did not compete on the surface in 2017-18 to give his body a break ahead of the grass season. And while the Swiss says he is ready to make his clay comeback, he admits his confidence is low in making the transition.

“I’m not very confident going into this clay court season, I can tell you that. I didn’t even remember how to slide anymore. I’m taking baby steps at this point. I didn’t play one point – not one shot – on clay last year. Two years ago I played two days. Three years ago I played not feeling great in Monte-Carlo and Rome and all that. It’s been so little that I really don’t know what to expect.

“What this win does for me is it just takes even more pressure off from the clay-court season. That’s what I’m looking at now the next four or five weeks, figuring out how we are going to go about it. I’m very excited. It’s a good challenge, a good test.”

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ATP Masters 1000: Tournaments, Records, Stats

The 2019 BNP Paribas Open ushered in the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis, with Dominic Thiem claiming his first title at the elite level. Roger Federer then captured the first Miami Open presented by Itau held at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Masters 1000 series, which debuted in 1990, features the best men’s tennis players at nine top tournaments on the ATP calendar. Champions at Masters 1000 events earn 1,000 ATP Rankings points.

Tournament  City 2019 Dates Defending Champion
BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells 7-17 March Juan Martin del Potro
Miami Open presented by Itau Miami 20-31 March John Isner 
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Monte-Carlo 14-21 April Rafael Nadal
Mutua Madrid Open Madrid 5-12 May Alexander Zverev 
Internazionali BNL d’Italia Rome 12-19 May Rafael Nadal
Coupe Rogers Montreal 5-11 August Rafael Nadal
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati 11-18 August Novak Djokovic 
Rolex Shanghai Masters Shanghai  6-13 October  Novak Djokovic 
Rolex Paris Masters Paris  28 Oct – 3 Nov  Karen Khachanov


MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERS…
2019 marks the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis. There have been 66 different champions crowned in 261 events since the series began in 1990. Only six players have won more than 10 Masters 1000 titles. Rafael Nadal leads the way with 33 following a trio of Masters 1000 titles in 2018, while Novak Djokovic has 32.

 Player Titles
Rafael Nadal 33
Novak Djokovic 32
Roger Federer 28
Andre Agassi 17
Andy Murray 14
Pete Sampras 11



MASTERS 1000 WINS LEADERS…
Roger Federer leads Masters 1000 win leaders, with Rafael Nadal only a couple match wins behind the Swiss. Stan Wawrinka enters the Top 10 leaderboard after reaching the third round at the BNP Paribas Open, overtaking Tommy Haas (144-107 match record).

Player W-L Titles
Roger Federer 374-105 28
Rafael Nadal  366-77 33 
Novak Djokovic 335-75  32 
Andy Murray 212-81  14 
Andre Agassi  209-73  17
Tomas Berdych 191-117
Pete Sampras 190-70 11
David Ferrer 188-121
Andy Roddick  157-70  5
Stan Wawrinka  145-100  1

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GREATEST CHAMPIONS (since 1990)…
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan dominate the titles leaderboard for the Masters 1000 tournaments. 
City Singles Doubles
Indian Wells Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (5) Mark Knowles, Daniel Nestor (4)
Miami Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic (6) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6)
Monte-Carlo Rafael Nadal (11)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6) 
Madrid Rafael Nadal (5) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5)
Rome Rafael Nadal (8) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)
Canada Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (4) Mahesh Bhupathi, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5) 
Cincinnati  Roger Federer (7)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Daniel Nestor (5)
Shanghai  Novak Djokovic (4) Marcelo Melo (3)
Paris Novak Djokovic (4) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)


MAIDEN MASTERS
: Seven players have won their first Masters 1000 title over the past 16 series events:
Alexander Zverev (2017 Rome)
Grigor Dimitrov (2017 Cincinnati)
Jack Sock (2017 Paris)
Juan Martin del Potro (2018 Indian Wells)
John Isner (2018 Miami)
Karen Khachanov (2018 Paris)
Dominic Thiem (2019 Indian Wells)

In the 78 ATP Masters 1000 events prior to 2017 Rome, six players won their first Masters 1000 title:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008 Paris)
Ivan Ljubicic (2010 Indian Wells)
Robin Soderling (2010 Paris)
David Ferrer (2012 Paris)
Stan Wawrinka (2014 Monte-Carlo)
Marin Cilic (2016 Cincinnati).

During the stretch from 2008 Madrid through 2017 Madrid, Novak Djokovic (26), Rafael Nadal (18), Andy Murray (13) and Roger Federer (12) combined to capture 69 of the 78 Masters 1000 titles (88.5%).

ATP Masters 1000: Tournaments, Records, Stats

The 2019 BNP Paribas Open ushered in the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis, with Dominic Thiem claiming his first title at the elite level. Roger Federer then captured the first Miami Open presented by Itau held at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Masters 1000 series, which debuted in 1990, features the best men’s tennis players at nine top tournaments on the ATP calendar. Champions at Masters 1000 events earn 1,000 ATP Rankings points.

Tournament  City 2019 Dates Defending Champion
BNP Paribas Open Indian Wells 7-17 March Juan Martin del Potro
Miami Open presented by Itau Miami 20-31 March John Isner 
Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters Monte-Carlo 14-21 April Rafael Nadal
Mutua Madrid Open Madrid 5-12 May Alexander Zverev 
Internazionali BNL d’Italia Rome 12-19 May Rafael Nadal
Coupe Rogers Montreal 5-11 August Rafael Nadal
Western & Southern Open Cincinnati 11-18 August Novak Djokovic 
Rolex Shanghai Masters Shanghai  6-13 October  Novak Djokovic 
Rolex Paris Masters Paris  28 Oct – 3 Nov  Karen Khachanov


MASTERS 1000 TITLE LEADERS…
2019 marks the 30th year of ATP Masters 1000 tennis. There have been 66 different champions crowned in 261 events since the series began in 1990. Only six players have won more than 10 Masters 1000 titles. Rafael Nadal leads the way with 33 following a trio of Masters 1000 titles in 2018, while Novak Djokovic has 32.

 Player Titles
Rafael Nadal 33
Novak Djokovic 32
Roger Federer 28
Andre Agassi 17
Andy Murray 14
Pete Sampras 11



MASTERS 1000 WINS LEADERS…
Roger Federer leads Masters 1000 win leaders, with Rafael Nadal only a couple match wins behind the Swiss. Stan Wawrinka enters the Top 10 leaderboard after reaching the third round at the BNP Paribas Open, overtaking Tommy Haas (144-107 match record).

Player W-L Titles
Roger Federer 374-105 28
Rafael Nadal  366-77 33 
Novak Djokovic 335-75  32 
Andy Murray 212-81  14 
Andre Agassi  209-73  17
Tomas Berdych 191-117
Pete Sampras 190-70 11
David Ferrer 188-121
Andy Roddick  157-70  5
Stan Wawrinka  145-100  1

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GREATEST CHAMPIONS (since 1990)…
Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan dominate the titles leaderboard for the Masters 1000 tournaments. 
City Singles Doubles
Indian Wells Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (5) Mark Knowles, Daniel Nestor (4)
Miami Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic (6) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6)
Monte-Carlo Rafael Nadal (11)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (6) 
Madrid Rafael Nadal (5) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5)
Rome Rafael Nadal (8) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)
Canada Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal (4) Mahesh Bhupathi, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (5) 
Cincinnati  Roger Federer (7)  Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Daniel Nestor (5)
Shanghai  Novak Djokovic (4) Marcelo Melo (3)
Paris Novak Djokovic (4) Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan (4)


MAIDEN MASTERS
: Seven players have won their first Masters 1000 title over the past 16 series events:
Alexander Zverev (2017 Rome)
Grigor Dimitrov (2017 Cincinnati)
Jack Sock (2017 Paris)
Juan Martin del Potro (2018 Indian Wells)
John Isner (2018 Miami)
Karen Khachanov (2018 Paris)
Dominic Thiem (2019 Indian Wells)

In the 78 ATP Masters 1000 events prior to 2017 Rome, six players won their first Masters 1000 title:
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (2008 Paris)
Ivan Ljubicic (2010 Indian Wells)
Robin Soderling (2010 Paris)
David Ferrer (2012 Paris)
Stan Wawrinka (2014 Monte-Carlo)
Marin Cilic (2016 Cincinnati).

During the stretch from 2008 Madrid through 2017 Madrid, Novak Djokovic (26), Rafael Nadal (18), Andy Murray (13) and Roger Federer (12) combined to capture 69 of the 78 Masters 1000 titles (88.5%).