Roger Federer beats Rafael Nadal in Miami Open then announces eight-week break

    Story highlights

    • Federer beats Nadal 6-3 6-4
    • Miami Open is Federer's third title of the season
    • Swiss star will now take an eight-week break

    (CNN)Is sustained rest the key to sustained success?

    Roger Federer seems to think so. The 18-time grand slam champion announced he is to take an eight-week break from the Tour after he beat long-term rival Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-4 to clinch the Miami Open Sunday.
      It means that the 35-year-old Federer, who has lost only once in 2017, will not play any clay-court events until the French Open at the end of May.
      "Wimbledon has to be the biggest goal now," the world No. 4 told reporters after beating Nadal to secure his third hard-court title of the year.
      "The second part of the season is the big priority. That's why I'll take a break."

      19 wins, one loss

      Roger Federer celebrates match point after defeating Rafael Nadal at the Miami Open.
      Federer is having quite the 2017.
      He has won the biggest tournaments of the year -- the Australian Open, Indian Wells and the Miami Open -- and this after missing six months of last season with a knee injury.
      "It's more about relaxing right now, more about injury prevention," added Federer, who has won 19 of his 20 matches this year.
      "My knee was strange on the clay last year so maybe being away from it as much as possible is a good thing, even though I don't think it was because of the clay as such.
      "But my physio, my fitness guy, thought that could be a good thing not to be too much on clay. I feel very comfortable, very confident it is the right decision.
      "I will probably stay on hard courts for the next few weeks and I will get on the clay two weeks before the French.
      "Hopefully I will play the French and then for me that's when the season really starts."

      'The dream continues'

      Federer became the oldest winner of the Miami Open as he secured his 91st Tour-level title.
      The victory was his fourth straight win over Nadal and extended his winning run to 11 matches.
      In a close opening set, the old adversaries shared 10 break points with Federer securing the crucial break in the eighth game.
      "The dream continues," said Federer.
      "It's been a fabulous couple of weeks. What a start to the year, thank you to my team and all who have supported me, especially in my more difficult challenging times last year."

      Nadal back in title hunt

      Nadal has beaten Federer in 23 of their 37 matches.
      Despite suffering a third defeat of the year to Federer, Nadal said he was ready to win titles again.
      "I think I am close to where I need to be," the Spaniard, who has never won in Miami, told reporters.
      "I have been playing well during the whole event.
      "It was a positive tournament for me obviously. A lot of points, a lot of confidence for the most important part of the season for me that's just in two weeks."