Meeting for the sixth time, Roger Federer defeated world no. 1 in the world, Lleyton Hewitt, in the semifinal of the 2002 Miami Masters, achieving the second victory over the Australian. It was the first win for the young Swiss against world no.
1, posting a 6-3, 6-4 victory in one hour and 29 minutes for a place in his first Masters 1000 final. Serving just 54%, Roger made the most of his opening shot, scoring 15 points in ten games. service and dodging all three break opportunities.
That put the Australian under pressure and he couldn’t deal with it. Lleyton lost serve once in each set on nine chances offered to Roger, who set up the title clash against Andre Agassi. Federer had the advantage in the shorter and medium exchanges.
He controlled the pace in the rallies with 29 winners and 26 unforced errors to move past Lleyton and stay in contention for the title.
Roger Federer defeated Lleyton Hewitt in Miami 2002.
Roger started the action with an ace in the first game and produced a break in the next after Hewitt’s backhand error.
Federer survived two break chances in the third game to confirm the lead. He stayed in love with a service winner to open up a 4-1 lead. Dominating with his opening shot, Roger closed out the opening set with a service winner in game nine, moving to 6-3 in front after 37 minutes and taking a big step en route to the final.
Ready to fight even harder, Hewitt held at 15 in the first game of the second set and created a break chance a few minutes later. Roger denied it with a big game winner and brought the game home with a forehand cross game winner to avoid an early mishap.
Stealing momentum, Federer grabbed a break in the third game after forcing Hewitt’s error. The Swiss collected four winners in the next to move to a 6-3, 3-1 lead, completely in control of the match. Flying over the court, Roger hit four game-winners in game six to maintain the lead.
He squandered three break chances in the next one and created more chances at 5-3. Giving his best, Lleyton saved two match points to extend the match for another game before Roger sealed the deal with his serve to cruise to the title match, his first at Masters 1000 level at 20. .
“It’s good to play so well again after a big win over Pavel. I beat him every time, that’s why I’m working hard. It’s special, as I’ve never beaten the world number 1 before. I also ended Hewitt’s winning streak. .
It’s very nice to be in my first Masters 1000 final and have the chance to win the tournament. I’ve played Andre twice and never beat him; We even played in my hometown when I was a junior. He is one of the best hard court players in the world along with Lleyton; I’m excited to play against him and I look forward to that clash.
I have a day off tomorrow, with enough time to put this victory behind me and prepare for the next challenge. I didn’t panic from the baseline; I could stay with Lleyton in the exchanges whenever I wanted. I mixed my game well and found good tactics in the last matches against different opponents.
I have to find the right one against Andre; otherwise it will be difficult. I have found the rhythm again in the serve; I was missing for a month. I didn’t get enough free points and my baseline game wasn’t as good as now,” said Roger Federer.