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Wednesday, 24 October, 2018

Federer showing signs of his former swagger

Nadal has lost both meetings with old foe this year

Roger Federer celebrates winning match point against Nick Kyrgios
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Roger Federer defied age and expectation when lifting January's Australian Open - his first Grand Slam for five years - and the Swiss ace can continue his resurgence by defeating old foe and Melbourne victim Rafael Nadal in the ATP Miami Open final.

Federer’s heroics in Australia made him the oldest man to reach a Grand Slam final since 1974 and fittingly the moment was shared with Nadal, who has dragged him through some of his most brutal battles.

The legendary duo have clashed 36 times - 22 of those in finals - and this is their third meeting this year. Nadal holds a 23-13 lead but the Spaniard has fought hard to overcome rekindling injuries and, although Federer is five years older, the Swiss ace is in better shape.

Federer has shown more this season than in his previous four years on the circuit, highlighted by his titles in Melbourne and Indian Wells, and his season record stands at 17 victories and just one defeat.

Federer won this tournament in 2005 and 2006 but hasn't been to the final since. However, the veteran is showing glimpses of his earlier dominance and wins over the talented, but quirky Nick Kyrgios in the last four and the ultra-consistent Tomas Berdych in the quarter-finals highlight just how well he is playing.

Nadal has lost just one set on his way to his fifth Miami final, but he is still to secure silverware at Key Biscayne and has already suffered defeat to Federer twice this year.

The Spaniard will be hungry for revenge but Federer has looked unbeatable in recent weeks and can weather the storm.

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Federer has shown more this season than in his previous four years on the circuit, highlighted by his titles in Melbourne and Indian Wells
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