March 31, 2017 -- Miami, Florida
Roger fought off ATP Next Gen player, Nick Kyrgios, to reach the finals of the Miami Open in a grueling 3 hour match.
In a close fought match, Roger found his way on top of the Australian in the 6-7 (9), 7-6 (9), 7-6 (5) match on Friday evening. The previous meeting between the two resulted in a similar score, but in Kyrgios' favor. They have now played each other twice, with both meetings going 3 sets and each set being decided by a tiebreak. The level of play was high as the packed crowd was treated to an all out battle. Roger had two match points in the second set tiebreak but Kyrgios held on to force it to a deciding set.
Roger will face long time rival, Rafael Nadal, in the finals. This will be the 3rd time the two face off in 2017, with Roger having won the past two meetings at the Australian Open and Indian Wells. “It's definitely going to be very special playing Rafa here again. I'm thrilled for him that he came back as well as he did after the comeback and the struggles that he had last year. It feels like old times. We're playing each other every week now. We can't get enough of each other. Hopefully it's not our last match."
Miami is where the rivalry between the two greats began. In 2004, Roger (then 22) faced a 17-year old Nadal for the first time. While Rafa took that first match in 2004, he has never won a title in Miami.
The two face off in Miami on Sunday, April 2.