There were amazing early round match-ups at Indian Wells, and it’s happening in Miami too - Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro will square off in the third round of the Miami Open on Monday.
Here are 10 Things To Know about this blockbuster match-up between two legends and fan favorites:
1. This match-up is worthy of a Grand Slam final. It literally was a Grand Slam final - del Potro beat Federer in five sets in the 2009 US Open final. Five of their six career meetings at Grand Slams have come at the quarterfinal stage or later (and four of five career meetings at Masters 1000s).
2. Federer leads del Potro in their career head-to-head, 15-5, BUT their last seven meetings have all gone to a deciding set (a five-setter at the 2012 French Open and three-setters at six regular events since then). Also, del Potro has actually beaten Federer in three of their last five meetings.
3. Federer’s trying to win Miami for the first time in 11 years. Federer’s two career Miami titles came in 2005 and 2006. Not only was 2006 the last time he won the title here, it’s also the last time he even reached the final here (his best results since then are semifinals in 2009 and 2011).
4. The Swiss in on a hot streak, though. Federer is 14-1 this year with titles at the Australian Open (his 18th Grand Slam title) and Indian Wells (his 25th Masters 1000 title). He’s also held 57 of 59 service games since the start of Indian Wells (dropping serve once in each of his last two matches).
5. Del Potro isn’t scared of Federer’s No.6 ranking. Since Wimbledon last summer, del Potro is 22-1 against players ranked outside the Top 5 - the only loss coming against a No.12-ranked Goffin in Shanghai last October (7-5 in the third set). And at least for now, Federer’s still the World No.6
6. The Argentine is trying to beat Federer at a Masters 1000 event for the first time. He’s 0-5 against Federer at Masters 1000 events. He has beaten the rest of the Big Four at Masters 1000 events though - Murray twice, Djokovic once and Nadal three times. Will he complete the set today?
7. Federer was on fire in his opening win against Tiafoe. Not only did the 18-time Grand Slam winner win 20 service points in a row at one point in the first set, he also pulled off this incredible SABR:
8. Del Potro was also on fire in his opening win. The 2009 US Open champion reeled off 12 points in a row to close out Haase in straight sets. Here he is talking about Miami and playing Federer:
9. Federer’s really happy about del Potro’s comeback. “I’m happy for him with his comeback, winning at Davis Cup,” he told atpworldtour.com on Saturday. “I should have played him here last year but I was sick. That was a pity. It’s better to play him maybe this time around when we’re both better. We’ve had some epic matches against each other. I’m sure the crowd would love to see it.”
10. You can watch this match live on Tennis Channel! It’s third on Stadium court after Pliskova-Strycova and Muguruza-Wozniacki - head to our TV schedule page to find out when to tune in.
And here are some highlights from their incredible 2009 US Open final - enjoy!