Novak Djokovic maintained his winning streak to complete a brace of ATP Masters Series trophies this month after securing a fabulous straight sets victory over his biggest rival Rafael Nadal in the Sony Open Tennis 2014 final. The recent Indian Wells title holder thus defeated the current number one for the third consecutive time to win their milestone fortieth meeting on the tour. Nadal’s head-to-head advantage has now been reduced to 22-18.
The top-ranked player started strong and nearly seized the opponent’s serve in the opening game, yet Novak held his serve after the deuce. Four uneventful service games followed before the Serb put an extra pressure on Rafa at 3-2 and produced a double break point by hitting a super-accurate forehand – he converted in first attempt as the Spaniard sent a shot long in the subsequent rally. The break was confirmed easily as Nole continued to organize the points extremely well and execute the shots with utmost precision. He was soon in possession of a triple set point and went one nil up after Nadal netted the return at 40-15.
Djokovic not only kept dictating the terms in the set number two, but shifted into an even higher gear and broke the deadlock immediately by efficiently turning in his second break point of the night. The advantage was almost doubled in the fifth game, yet the king of clay averted the break point danger on this occasion to keep hoping for a comeback. However, Novak was in his own world in those moments as he barely surrendered any points when serving. He held to love for a 5-3 lead and troubled Nadal again in the next game to produce a double championship point. The highlight of the final would follow as the Miami crowd saw a spectacular exchange of world-class shots with the second seed prevailing in a battle at the net to round off a 6-3, 6-3 triumph in eighty-four minutes on the court. He has already conquered the tournament in 2007, 2011 and 2012.
“It’s been a fantastic tournament, a very enjoyable time as it always is in Miami,” Djokovic stated. “I played a great match, from the start to the end everything was working really well. It’s always a challenge and a pleasure to play against Rafa. Back in 2007 I won my first big title here in Miami and I have the greatest memories from this centre court.”
“I want to congratulate Novak and his team, he played an amazing two tournaments in a row,” said Nadal. “Winning Indian Wells and Miami is very difficult to do. In no other tournament have I lost this many finals, but it’s always a very special tournament for me. The energy and passion from the crowd is unforgettable.”