From Federer To Agassi: Milestone Moments In Miami

With no action from the Miami Open presented by Itau this year, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ATPTour.com has taken the time to reflect on some of the greatest moments in the tournament’s history as we celebrate 30 years of ATP Masters 1000 tennis.

From 1990 to 2019, here are some of the key milestones from Miami:

One Year Ago, 2019: Federer Begins New Era With Fourth Crown
After 32 editions at Crandon Park, the Miami Open presented by Itau made its debut at Hard Rock Stadium in 2019. Having fallen to Thanasi Kokkinakis in his opening match of the tournament in 2018, three-time champion Roger Federer narrowly avoided the same fate in 2019 with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 comeback win against Radu Albot. It would be the closest anyone would get to a victory against the Swiss.

From that moment, Federer raised his game at the home of the Miami Dolphins. The 103-time tour-level champion, chasing his second Miami crown in three years (2017), secured straight-sets victories against Filip Krajinovic, Daniil Medvedev, Kevin Anderson and Denis Shapovalov to reach his fifth final at the Masters 1000 event (3-1).

Across the net stood defending champion John Isner, who won nine of his 10 sets in tie-breaks to advance to the championship match without dropping a set. No tie-breaks were required in the championship match, as Federer broke serve on four occasions to claim his fourth Miami crown after 64 minutes.

“What a week it’s been for me. I’m just so happy right now. It’s unbelievable,” said Federer. “I played here in 1999 for the first time and here I am in 2019. It means a lot to me.”

Five Years Ago, 2015: Djokovic Makes History
Novak Djokovic continued his remarkable start to the 2015 ATP Tour season in Miami, earning another piece of history by becoming the first man to complete the ‘Sunshine Double’ on three occasions.

Fresh from his victory against Roger Federer in the Indian Wells championship match, Djokovic survived three-set battles against Martin Klizan and Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the quarter-finals in Florida. Straight-sets victories against 2013 runner-up David Ferrer and John Isner earned the World No. 1 a spot in the final, where he faced two-time champion Andy Murray for the trophy.

Djokovic and Murray were meeting for the third time in 2015, after Djokovic’s victories against the Brit in the Australian Open final and the Indian Wells semi-finals. The result would prove the same in Miami, as the 6’2” right-hander raced through a deciding set to secure his fifth Miami title with a 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 triumph.

“I’m trying to enjoy the moment and also utilise this time of my career where I’m probably playing the tennis of my life… I am aware that this cannot go forever,” said Djokovic. “There is going to be eventually a change of generations, some players that are going to start playing better and be stronger.”

Djokovic

10 Years Ago, 2010: Roddick’s Final Masters 1000 Title
Two weeks after falling to Ivan Ljubicic in the Indian Wells final, Andy Roddick captured his fifth and final Masters 1000 trophy in Miami in 2010. The 2004 champion, who opened the year with a title in Brisbane, overcame three Top 40 opponents en route to a semi-final showdown with Rafael Nadal.

After dropping the opening set to the Spaniard, who also entered Miami after a loss to Ljubicic in the Californian desert, Roddick claimed three service breaks in the following two sets to book a final meeting against Tomas Berdych. Berdych entered the final in great form, having beaten Roger Federer, Fernando Verdasco and Robin Soderling in consecutive matches to earn a third clash of the year against the American.

But Roddick, as he had in Brisbane and San Jose, proved too strong. The former World No. 1 did not face a break point in the championship match, taking the title with a 7-5, 6-4 win.

Roddick’s success in Miami would prove a reference point for years to come, with the next 69 Masters 1000 titles being collected by European champions. The streak was eventually ended by fellow American Jack Sock at the 2017 Rolex Paris Masters.

Roddick

20 Years Ago, 2000: New Millennium, Same Sampras
After a quarter-final loss to Thomas Enqvist in Indian Wells, Pete Sampras arrived in Miami searching for his first title of the 2000 ATP Tour season. Sampras, who began his year with a semi-final run at the Australian Open (l. to Agassi), beat Top 20 stars Greg Rusedski and Nicolas Lapentti to earn a semi-final clash against rising star Lleyton Hewitt.

Searching for a fourth title of 2000, Hewitt managed to force Sampras into a deciding set before the World No. 2 raced clear to claim a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win and a place in the final against Gustavo Kuerten. Having dropped just five games to beat World No. 1 Andre Agassi in the semi-finals, the Brazilian was attempting to capture his first Masters 1000 trophy on hard courts.

Sampras served with great consistency throughout the three-hour, 18-minute final, dropping serve just once to edge Kuerten 6-1, 6-7(2), 7-6(5), 7-6(8). Like Roddick in 2010, it would prove to be the final Masters 1000 trophy of Sampras’ career. The 6’1” American claimed two further titles during his career — at 2000 Wimbledon and the 2002 US Open — before hanging up his racquet.

<img alt="Pete Sampras claims his final ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami in 2000.” width=”100%” src=”https://www.atptour.com/-/media/images/news/2020/03/25/14/35/sampras-miami-2000-final.jpg?la=en”>

30 Years Ago, 1990: Agassi Makes His Breakthrough
The 1990 edition of the event marked a significant breakthrough for a rising star in American tennis and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the tournament.

A 19-year-old Andre Agassi arrived at Crandon Park seeking his first Masters 1000 crown and a 10th ATP Tour title just two weeks after falling to Stefan Edberg in a four-set Indian Wells final. Agassi was forced to recover from a set down in three consecutive matches against Top 20 members Andres Gomez, Jim Courier and Jay Berger to reach his first of eight Miami championship matches (6-2).

Like Indian Wells, his final opponent was Edberg. The Swede entered the contest on a 10-match winning streak and had won each of his previous two ATP Head2Head meetings against the American. But Agassi earned a 6-1, 6-4, 0-6, 6-2 win to claim the first of a record six Miami trophies between 1990 and 2003. The American, who ended his career with six wins from nine ATP Head2Head clashes against Edberg, still holds the record for tournament victories in Miami alongside fellow six-time winner Djokovic.

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