Djokovic’s Three-Peat Dream Still Alive, Meeting Nishikori In Miami Final

Miami Open Finaists: Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori

MIAMI, April 2, 2016

Novak Djokovic‘s three-peat at the Miami Open presented by Itaú remains on the card after semi-finals Friday at Crandon Park.

The world number one and five time Key Biscayne champion defeated with David Goffin the first Belgian man to reach the stage of the final four in Miami. Djokovic claimed an even first set in the tie-break but took further control, breaking his opponent’s serve in the seventh game of the second frame. The 28-year-old Serbian hit seven aces, winning 71% of his first service points and converted his first match point after two hours and five minutes to secure a 7-6, 6-4 victory.

“It was windy, it was humid, it was warm. It was like everything was thrown out there. And to overcome those obstacles and conditions was something that I’m proud of. I managed to stay tough in the right moments,” Djokovic told after advancing to his 11th straigth ATP Masters 1000 final since Paris-Bercy 2014.

“He plays very clean,” Djokovic said of Goffin. “It’s a tennis that is beautiful to watch. Also, I think he improved his serve. I had difficulty reading it. It’s not as powerful as maybe some other guys’, but it’s very precise and efficient. Also, he backs it up with a very efficient first shot after the serve.

“Physically, it was a great battle, with lots of exchanges from the baseline.”

In his seventh Miami Open final, Djokovic will take on Kei Nishikori. The sixth seed from Japan beat Nick Kyrgios for the second time in as many meetings between the two. Nishikori won 77% of his first service points, got only broken once and converted four of his own nine break point chances to seal a 6-3, 7-5 victory in one hour and 24 minutes.

“Serves, returns, everything worked well,” Nishikori said after reaching his second ATP Master 1000 final, following Madrid 2014. “I tried to be aggressive and won a lot of points at the net as well.”

“He’s just playing such good tennis,” Kyrgios said. “I know his game plan when he plays me, he plays so aggressively. He doesn’t let me dictate points. I was really looking for answers. I was trying to serve and volley a couple of times. But he’s playing great tennis.

“He puts so much behind the ball. He’s not just pushing it back. He can just hit a winner from anywhere. He moves really well and returns well. He’s too good.”

Djokovic and Nishikori will meet for the ninth time with the world number one leading 6-2 in head to head records. The last encounter between the two took place at this year’s Australian Open. Djokovic won in three sets. He is now bidding to tie Andre Agassi’s record of six titles in Miami.