Baseline is looking back at some of the biggest upsets of the 2000s at the Miami Open.
Over a six-month stretch—from fall 2006 to late winter 2007—hardly any other player on the ATP Tour was as hot as Guillermo Canas. The Argentine won five ATP Challenger titles over that time and his first tour title in two-and-a-half years in Brazil.
The 2001 Comeback Player of the Year was in the midst of working his way up the rankings once again, this time after a suspension for a drug-related offense. After his reduced sentence was served, the former world No. 8 went from being unranked to 60 by the start of the first Masters 1000 event of 2007 in Indian Wells. There, Canas battled through qualifying and reached the third round, with one of the most impressive results of his career coming in the second round, when he topped world No. 1 Roger Federer and halted the Swiss’ win streak at 41 matches.
After that tournament, the next stop was the Miami Open. Once again, Canas was forced to qualify and after reaching the main draw, he was drawn against former world No. 4 Tim Henman in the first round. Having knocked off the serve-and-volleyer in three sets, Canas went the distance again in the next round with Juan Carlos Ferrero. It was a rematch of their final in Brazil a month earlier with the same result as Canas defeated the former world No. 1 to advance.
Dispatching the young Frenchman and 15th seed Richard Gasquet in straight sets, Canas faced a familiar foe: Federer, the top seed, who was out to avenge his loss a couple of weeks earlier in Indian Wells. The two battled it out in the first set before the world No. 55 eked out a tiebreak win. Federer then turned up the pressure then to race through the second set, 6-2, to level the match. In the third, another tiebreak would determine the outcome and once again, it would be Canas to take it, sending him through to the quarterfinals as he became only the fifth player to ever beat Federer in consecutive matchups.
The Argentine’s run didn’t stop there as he then knocked off Tommy Robredo and Ivan Ljubicic—the sixth and seventh seeds, respectively—in back-to-back rounds to reach his second career Masters final. There, he faced the 10th seed Novak Djokovic, who had defeated world No. 2 Rafael Nadal and the 12th seed Andy Murray, respectively, in his quarterfinal and semifinal matches.
Canas’ magic ran out in the final as Djokovic beat him in three straight sets for his first Masters title. Still, it was an impressive two weeks for the Argentine, with the performance bringing him back inside the world’s top 30.