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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 29: Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland pose for a photo at the net ahead of their Men's Final match on day 14 of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 29, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Federer v Nadal: 10 Things To Know

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two of the greatest players of all time, will battle for the Miami Open title on Sunday. It’ll be the 37th time they’ve played each other - and third time this season.

Here are 10 Things To Know about this dream final at the second Masters 1000 event of the year:

1. Nadal’s hoping for fifth time lucky. This is the 14-time Grand Slam champion’s fifth career final in Miami, and there’s a pattern - he’s gotten to the final every three years, in 2005 (losing to Federer), 2008 (losing to Davydenko), 2011 (losing to Djokovic), 2014 (losing again to Djokovic) and now 2017.

2. Federer’s going for his third career Miami title. The 18-time Grand Slam champion won here in in 2005 (beating Nadal in the final) and 2006 (beating Ljubicic in the final). He also won Indian Wells those two years - can he pull off the rare Indian Wells-Miami “Sunshine Double” for a third time?

3. Nadal leads the head-to-head, 23-13. He also leads in finals (14-8) and in Masters 1000 finals (7-3). But they’re 9-9 on hardcourts, and Federer has won their last three meetings - the first time he’s beaten Nadal three times in a row (Basel in 2015 and Australian Open and Indian Wells this year).

4. Nadal’s won two of their three career meetings in Miami. Nadal won in straight sets in the third round in 2004, their first career meeting, before Federer edged him in five sets in the final in 2005, their second career meeting. They also played in the semifinals in 2011 (Nadal won in straight sets).

Read more about their 2004 meeting here and watch highlights from their 2005 epic below:

5. They’ve never played each other three times this early in a season. Before 2017, the earliest they’d played three times in a season was May in 2006 (their third meeting came at Rome that year).

6. They’re both phenomenal in finals. Federer is 25-18 in Masters 1000 finals (and 90-48 overall) while Nadal is 28-14 in Masters 1000 finals (and 69-34 overall). Only one player has won more Masters 1000 titles than Federer or Nadal - that would be Djokovic, who has 30 Masters 1000 titles.

7. Federer is flawless against Top 10 players this year. He’s 6-0 with wins over Berdych, Nishikori, Wawrinka and Nadal at the Australian Open, and Nadal and Wawrinka at Indian Wells. Nadal, meanwhile, is 3-2, the two losses coming to Raonic (at Brisbane) and Federer (at Indian Wells).

8. Nadal’s going for a very rare feat. Nadal is trying to become just the second player ever to win a Masters 1000 title in their teens, 20s and 30s - the only other player to achieve the feat is Agassi.

9. They’ll both be back in the Top 5 on Monday’s rankings. Murray, Djokovic and Wawrinka will hold strong at No.1, No.2 and No.3, but Federer (currently No.6) and Nadal (currently No.7) will move into the No.4 and No.5 spots, Sunday’s winner moving to No.4 and the runner-up rising to No.5.

10. You can watch this match on Tennis Channel! Head to the TV schedule page to find out when you can watch the men’s final of the Miami Open on Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus!

Read more articles by John Berkok

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