Novak Djokovic: 'I was supposed to meet Roger Federer in the quarters, but he lost..'
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 2455
Novak Djokovic made a breakthrough season in 2006 and became the third-strongest link on the Tour a year later, only behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. In March 2007, a teenager was the one to look at in Indian Wells and Miami, reaching two finals and claiming the first Masters 1000 trophy at 19.
Rafael Nadal defeated Novak in the title match in Indian Wells, and the Serb avenged the loss in the Miami quarter-final two weeks later. Roger Federer fell to Guillermo Canas at both events, and Novak had a clear path towards the Florida crown, beating the Argentine 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes.
Djokovic proved the status of the favorite with a dominant performance that left Canas with no answer. Novak saved all five break chances, and Guillermo could not follow that pace, getting broken four times and pushing Novak over the top.
Djokovic had the upper hand in the shortest and most extended exchanges to overpower Canas, who was still pleased with the last couple of weeks. Novak kicked off the encounter with a smash winner and fended off a break chance at 1-1.
He grabbed a break with a backhand down the line winner in game four and cemented the advantage with an ace for 4-1. Serving for the set in game nine, Novak held at 15 after Canas' forehand error to grab the opener 6-3.
Novak Djokovic claimed the first Masters 1000 title in Miami 2007.
Djokovic blasted a forehand down the line to force his opponent's error and grab a break at 2-2, rattling off three break chances in the next one that lasted for 20 minutes.
It took all the energy from Canas, who got broken at love in game seven after Djokovic's backhand winner that sent him 5-2 up, taking a massive step towards the title. Guillermo survived multiple break opportunities at the beginning of the third set, struggling with a left thigh injury but staying in touch with Novak until 4-4.
Then, he hit a double fault to give Djokovic the pivotal advantage, and Novak sealed the deal with a forehand winner a few minutes later to celebrate his first Masters 1000 trophy. "Whenever someone beats Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, it gives you motivation and confidence.
I have used that opportunity in Indian Wells and Miami. I was supposed to meet Roger Federer in the quarter-final in the desert, but he lost to Canas. I reached the final there, losing to Rafael Nadal and fixing that here in Miami. I'm playing consistent tennis, and it's good to see someone new in tennis," Novak Djokovic said.