They met for the first time there 13 years ago.

Federer sat out the second half of 2016 with a knee problem but has won three trophies since January including beating Nadal in an epic Australian Open final.

He also sent the Spaniard out a fortnight ago in early Indian Wells.

"Congrats Rafa on a great comeback yourself, I'm so happy we're here together," Federer said in his victory speech.

"This is where it all started for us in 2004. You were a little boy, you grew into a big strong man.

"We've had some great battles over the years.

"In 2005 I was very lucky to beat you here in the final, I told you then that you'd one day win this tournament and I still believe you'll win this tournament. You're too good not to."