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Rafael Nadal lost to his longtime rival Roger Federer in the finals of the Miami Open on Sunday.

It's uncertain when Serena Williams will return from a knee injury that has sidelined her since she won her 23rd major title at the Australian Open two months ago.

In a close opening set, the old adversaries shared 10 break points with Federer securing the crucial break in the eighth game.

Federer has beaten Nadal in all of those events this year and has now won his last four meetings between the pair. Nadal fell to 0-5 in Key Biscayne finals, including in 2005 against Federer. "It was more of a fight mode I was in today trying to stay afloat".

"The coolest atmosphere on tour, " said Federer, now a three-time champion. "I am very excited about playing back on clay again", he said.

"The match with Nick and Federer was possibly one of the greatest matches outside a grand slam that I've ever seen", Larkham explained, as quoted by the Canberra Times.

Serving for the championship at 5-4, Federer hit his only double-fault on the first point but quickly regrouped.

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When Nadal sailed a return long on the final point, Federer took the ball on a bounce behind the baseline and sent it into the stands, then waved both hands in jubilation.

In a court-side interview with ESPN's Brad Gilbert, Federer said: "I'm not 24 any more, so things have changed in a big way and I probably won't play any clay-court events except the French". Despite that he can reach the number one position quite easily given his passion and his will to win and also given the fact that two of his major modern day contemporaries Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray haven't had really great seasons so far.

"Part of the situation was that my knee was really unusual on the clay previous year, so maybe being away from the clay as much as possible is maybe is a good thing as well, even though I don't think it was because of the clay as such", Federer said.

While Federer begins a well-earned vacation, there's still plenty for tennis fans to look forward to during the clay season that starts this week.

"I'm probably in the best place I've ever been in". He served well and held at love three times in a row.

The next few months should tell us how the tennis circuit pans out and who sits at the top, but if the last few months are any indication of what is to come, Federer fans may be in for a treat very soon.


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