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Roger Federer set for two-month break after Miami Open victory

International Business Times (AU) logoInternational Business Times (AU) 03-04-2017 Sai Mohan

Roger Federer, Miami Open final © Provided by IBT Australia Roger Federer, Miami Open final

Roger Federer defeated arch nemesis Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 Sunday to become the oldest men's champion in the 33-year history of the Miami Open. However, the Swiss master will now be taking a two-month break that could extend until the French Open which commences on May 28.

After missing the final six months of 2016 with a left knee injury, Federer has made his best start to a season since 2006. The 35-year-old has already captured the 2017 Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and now the Miami Open, rising from World No. 17 at the start of the year to World No. 4. Incidentally, Federer has had to go through Nadal en route to all three title victories.  

Roger Federer likely to rest until French Open

Federer is at the stage of his career wherein he's able to pick-and-choose events from the packed ATP calendar, while also giving his troublesome knees sufficient rest at regular intervals. "I'm not 24 anymore. I need a rest. My body needs healing. I want to stay healthy. When I'm healthy and feeling good, I can produce tennis like this. If I'm not feeling this good, there's no chance I'll be in finals competing with Rafa. That is why this break is coming in the clay court season, focusing everything on the French, the grass and then the hard courts after that," Federer said after his victory on Sunday, via ESPN.

Last month, Federer became the oldest player to win an ATP Masters 1000 title when he beat fellow Swiss star during the finals of the BNP Paribas Open final at Indian Wells. And now, Federer will try to become the oldest player to win a Grand Slam title in the Open Era during the Wimbledon in July. Federer, at 35 years and 171 days, became the third oldest player to win a Grand Slam after capturing the 2017 Australian Open at the top of the new year.  Australia's Ken Roswell, at 37 years and 2 months, still owns the record.

Meanwhile, Nadal lost his fifth Miami Open final after suffering defeats in 2005 (Federer), 2008 (Nikolay Davydenko), 2011 (Novak Djokovic) and 2014 (Novak Djokovic). The Spaniard lamented his inability to get past the finishing line at Key Biscayne. "It's disappointing for me that I am trying during all my career. Every three years I am in this position, but always with the smaller trophy," Nadal said during the trophy ceremony.

Nadal, 30, will now turn his attention to the European clay-court season which begins with the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in two weeks. "I'm playing well enough to fight for everything, I think. I have good hopes that I going to be ready for Monte-Carlo. Always when I am playing that well, on clay it helps a little bit more for me. I need to work hard to be ready for that. If I am ready for that, I think I am very excited about playing on clay again," said the Spaniard who will target a record 10th French Open title in June.

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