There’s something about Key Biscane and the Miami Masters (or Sony Open) that brings out the best in Novak Djokovic, beating Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3, once again denying the Spaniard and world’s number one from winning one of the few Masters tournament he has yet to win.
In a game with two big hitters who seem to get stronger as the match extends, Djokovic was the one who made less mistakes, and looked for more initiative. He handled well the only break point he faced and made only 15 unforced errors. It was a rare lopsided win in the most played rivalry of the Men’s Open Era, but it won’t stop Nadal from remaining at the top spot of the ATP Rankings, losing for the fourth time in the final at Miami.
Nadal kept standing way beyond the baseline, not having the usual depth on his shots, while Djokovic kept stepping forward and pressing the Spaniard. He didn’t go for the volley one of the big weaknesses in his game, but was able to dominate the pace, flow and direction of the game constantly, while Nadal kept putting himself in defensive positions.
In all, it was an excellent tournament for Djokovic, playing only eight sets and winning them all. Two matches were walkovers, and despite the ease, Nadal still has a 22-18 lead in the matches between the two, and with the Clay Season about to begin, he might be able to erase some of the losses he has picked up recently.
And this is world tennis now, and has been mostly for the last few years. Djokovic and Nadal if he’s healthy, with all due respect to Murray, Federer and even Stanislas Wawrinka, who hasn’t been exactly on fire since winning the Australian Open. Nadal and Djokovic are the current champions of all nine 1000 Masters tournaments.
Djokovic has won his last 10 matches, 20 straight in Masters tournaments. A match that was over in 84 minutes seemed to surprise both Nadal and Djokovic, not to mention the fans, who probably thought they were in for a much more epic battle.
But there are more big battles remaining for the two. Roger Federer might have something to say about a title here and there, but probably only after clay season. Maybe at Wimbledon, while hoping Nadal doesn’t pick up anymore Grand Slam titles. His best hope of that happening is Novak Djokovic playing this kind of tennis.
The matches that I have played, I played really well, and I elevated my game as the tournament progressed. The best performance of the tournament came in the right moment on Sunday against the biggest rival. There are no secrets between us. We know each other’s game really well. In general, our game will be more or less the same. Nothing mainly is going to change. He’s not gonna serve and volley, or myself. So I knew what kind of game plan is ahead of me, and I have realized that in a perfect manner.