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Roger Federer managed to win both Indian Wells and Miami in back-to-back years, making him the only player ever to accomplish this feat—a March double-double—in the Open Era.
Actually Federer entered the Pacific Life Open (as it was then known) in 2005 as the defending champion, having won the tournament in 2004. In 2005, however, Federer came in as the No. 1 seed. Aussie Lleyton Hewitt was the second seed, American Andy Roddick was the third and the enigmatic Russian Marat Safin was seeded No. 4.
Federer advanced through the draw without dropping a set, defeating Argentine Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-1 in the semifinals and Lleyton Hewitt in the final 6-2, 6-4, 6-4. The final was still a best of five format. Canas, of course, would become a significant person in Federer’s career when the Argentine would defeat Federer in the opening round at both Indian Wells and Miami in 2007.
In one of the more interesting tournaments in Miami—this one being the 2005 NASDAQ-100 Open—Federer would face a relative newcomer in the final, a very young Rafael Nadal seeded No. 29 for this tournament.
Nadal, of course, had defeated Federer the previous year in Miami during the third round. It was a big upset for Federer, who had just climbed to the world No. 1 ranking.
This year, however, Federer would get a good view of the future from his soon-to-be constant rival. Having dismissed Tim Henman in straight sets during the quarterfinals and Andre Agassi in two in the semifinals, Federer found himself in a war with the Spaniard for the championship.
Nadal sprinted out to a two-set lead, but Federer stormed back winning 2-6, 6-7, 7-6, 6-3, 6-1 as Nadal ran out of gas.
By 2006, Federer was again the No. 1 seed at the Pacific Life Open (Indian Wells) and Nadal was the No. 2 seed as he would remain for the next two-and-a-half years. Both men survived to the quarterfinals where Federer scored a victory over Croat Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 6-3, while Nadal dispatched Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis 7-5, 6-0 to advance to the semifinals.
There Nadal lost to American James Blake 7-5, 6-3 while Federer won his semifinal match over Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand 6-2, 6-3. In the final the Swiss dismissed Blake in straight sets 7-5, 6-3, 6-0.
At the 2006 NASDAQ-100, Federer once more came in as the No. 1 seed with Nadal the second seed. But Nadal was upset in the second round by countryman Carlos Moya, never really getting his grip on the match.
Federer defeated James Blake in the quarterfinals 7-6, 6-4 and Spaniard David Ferrer in the semifinals 6-1, 6-4. In the finals Federer would face Ljubicic—coming away with a 7-6, 7-6, 7-6 victory in a very exciting match.
Federer has won 71 ATP singles titles including 16 Grand Slam singles titles. He held the No. 1 ranking for a consecutive 237 weeks—a modern record.
Federer won two Sony Ericsson titles in 2005-2006 and has never made his way back to another final in Miami. He won three titles at Indian Wells 2004-2006, never making a final again.
But in the process he won back-to-back doubles at Indian Wells and Miami. No man has accomplished it again—at least, not yet.
Only Djokovic has the opportunity to equal the double-double in 2012...