With the 2017 Miami Masters underway, Roger Federer fans will have an extra something to anticipate; with Federer already having swept the Indian Wells title, he will now look to win the prestigious Sunshine Double – as the combination of titles at the two ATPMasters events at Indian Wells and Miami are together known. If a player wins both titles in the same calendar year, they are dubbed to have won the Sunshine Double – a feat few players in tennis history have achieved.
Federer is one of only 7 male players to have achieved the feat, and one of only two to have won multiple Sunshine Doubles; Federer won both titles in back-to-back years, 2005 and 2006, while Novak Djokovic has done it three times – in 2011, and then three years in a row from 2014 to 2016.
This year, Roger Federer will go for his third sunshine double – and there’s every reason for us to believe he could do it!
And here’s why:
#5 Absence of Novak Djokovic
Only two currently active players have completed the Sunshine Double – one is Roger Federer, and the other Novak Djokovic. With the Serbian World No. 2 sitting out the tournament with an elbow injury this time around, Federer has a relatively clearer route to the trophy given he is the most successful hard-court player in the entire current field.
One might argue that Federer’s biggest competition, Rafael Nadal, is in some power-hitting form of his own. But Nadal, for all his successes, has never won the Miami Open in his career.
The Spaniard has made the finals here on four occasions – for the first time in 2005, aged only 19.
That year, it was a familiar face – a certain Roger Federer, who beat him in the finals in a tight five-set match; then, Nadal lost to Nikolay Davydenko in the finals in straight sets.
Most recently, Nadal made the finals in 2011 and 2014, losing both times to Novak Djokovic, whose success at the Miami Masters has yet to be equalled by any player on tour, Federer included.
Although both players are fighting fit, Federer’s success over Nadal on the surface – and his two big defeats of Nadal this year already, will give the Swiss the upper hand.