Djokovic beats Murray in straight sets, Nishikori upsets Federer to reach Miami SFs

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PinExt Djokovic beats Murray in straight sets, Nishikori upsets Federer to reach Miami SFs

Kei Nishikori4 Djokovic beats Murray in straight sets, Nishikori upsets Federer to reach Miami SFs

The World no. 2 Novak  Djokovic made his way into the Miami Masters 2014 semi-finals by prevailing in a heavyweight clash against defending champion Andy Murray in straight sets. The rivals have met for the first time after the British player secured his debut Wimbledon title last July. In a closely- fought opener fifth-seeded Murray defended a couple of break points in the middle of the set before missing an opportunity to seize Novak’s serve in the eleventh game – the Serb responded by breaking to love and moving one nil ahead. After a steady introduction to the second set, the Scotsman broke the deadlock to go 3-2 up, but was helpless from then on as Djokovic seized two consecutive breaks before serving out the quarter-final encounter with a love hold. A three-time Sony Open Tennis conqueror advanced by winning 7-5, 6-3 to improve the head-to-head record to 12-8 and set up a surprise semi-final against Kei Nishikori of Japan. Nole scored 7 aces against Murray’s 1, maintained a 73% first serve ratio and won the same percentage of the subsequent rallies.

“In the second, even when I was broken, I felt like I still have chances and I still believe that I could win in straight sets,” said Djokovic. “I think I was calmer in the important moments where he wasn’t. He lost his composure, I think, and made unforced errors and allowed me to win.”       

Twentieth-seeded Japanese, who entered the Miami QFs in a miraculous way after defending four match points when meeting David Ferrer, pulled off another great escape to turn around the clash against the 17-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer who has not dropped a service game earlier in the tournament. The Swiss confirmed his role as a favorite in the early stages when he obtained a 4-1 advantage and while Nishikori pegged back to make it 4-3, FedEx claimed another break before serving out the set. The second set had a somewhat similar course of events up to the point when the sixth seed Swiss reestablished his one break lead in the seventh game, yet this time the highest-ranked Japanese completed a comeback and squared things up after breaking for the third time. Nishikori kept battling well in the decider where he almost stunned Roger in the fourth game before producing a triple break and match point at 5-4 and converting on the third one for a spectacular 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 triumph. He beat Federer for the second time in three meetings on the tour to take over the lead in the head-to-head series.

“I could never really get my service games going,” stated Federer. “On the return, as the match went on, I think it was that Kei started to serve a bit better, which made it more difficult.”

“He’s playing well, no doubt,” said Nishikori. “I played him a long time ago, maybe three or four years ago in Basel, and I beat him before, so hopefully I can play good like today.”

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