Roger Federer, who beat long-time rival Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 to win his third title of the year on Sunday, says he will take a almost two-month break before returning for the French Open in late May.
Federer saved two match points in his quarterfinal win against Tomas Berdych, and earned a three-tiebreaker win in the semifinals against Nick Kyrgios.
The second set took an nearly identical path, albeit with fewer openings to break for both players until Federer again pounced, to grab a 5-4 lead when Nadal went long returning a fine backhand.
The Miami Open proved to be the third tournament that the Swiss has won since January, although the former world number one has revealed that he is now planning a break of nearly two months before the 2017 French Open.
Nadal, 30, lost to Federer for the third time this year Sunday, dropping his record in Key Biscayne finals to 0-5. "It was more of a fight mode I was in today trying to stay afloat".
Federer, now a three-time Miami victor, leads 10-9 on hardcourt. "I am very excited about playing back on clay again", he said. I'm sure we've all said "you too" when the ticket taker at a movie theater says, "Enjoy your movie".
The next point was the longest of the match, and Federer ended the 19-shot rally with a forehand victor in the corner.
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Federer said he's healthy and wants to stay that way after missing the final six months of 2016 because of a knee injury.
When Nadal sailed a return long on the final point, Federer took the ball on a bounce behind the baseline and happily whacked it into the stands, then waved with both hands in jubilation. The sellout crowd was evenly divided in its support but roared for the popular champion. Rafael Nadal believes he's ready for a good run on his favorite surface, and Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray are expected to return soon from injuries.
Federer even hedged slightly in committing to Roland Garros, the Grand Slam least suited to his graceful game because of the grinding it demands. His best start since 2006 comes after he missed the final six months of previous year with a left knee injury. "That's all", Nadal said.
"I'm probably in the best place I've ever been in". That ties for the worst by any player at any tournament in the open era.
He said it was still a long way to No. 1, but the temptation of potentially challenging for the top ranking was in the back of his mind.
There's more to come following a two-month intermission.