Tennis fans on the East Coast of the US don’t have to set their alarm clocks for 3:30 am as they did back in January to catch a throwback final between Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal. Instead for the Miami Open ATP 1000 final, Federer and Nadal will face off at a convenient 1 pm ET. ESPN2 will have the broadcast coverage.
When Federer faced Nadal in the 2017 Australian Open Final, most fans thought it wasn’t just an alarm clock that was needed — but a time machine. The two great champions together make up the most storied one-on-one rivalry in sports, but for a while it looked as if even one of them contending in a Grand Slam Final might be a thing of the past. Yet Australia proved emphatically otherwise. Now Nadal and Federer have both again handled excellent competition in Miami to find each other in a big time finals. The time machine was obviously premature, despite all the injuries both players have suffered — and their advancing ages. And now in Miami not even an alarm clock is required to see a matchup for the ages that’s somehow still not past its prime. Federer is seeking his third win of the young year, having vanquished Nadal at Melbourne and then won at Indian Wells a few weeks ago. Nadal is 0-4 in his Miami Open Finals — he’ll be working hard to ditch the zero.