When Novak Djokovic cracked top-10 before facing Rafael Nadal

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When Novak Djokovic cracked top-10 before facing Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic was a player on the mission since the second part of 2006, improving his ranking and finishing the season just outside the top-15. Novak conquered Adelaide at the beginning of 2007 and reached the Australian Open fourth round.

Roger Federer beat the youngster in straight sets, and the Serb finally took one away from the Swiss in Dubai before losing in three sets. Djokovic gained a boost ahead of Indian Wells and presented his A-game in the desert to advance into the final without losing a set.

Novak had some issues against Robby Ginepri in the second round and scored three more wins to find himself in the semis. Djokovic took down his coeval Andy Murray 6-2, 6-3 in 63 minutes in a battle for the final. Murray twisted his ankle against Tommy Haas and stayed on the court for almost three hours on the previous night.

An injured Briton had nothing left in the tank for that clash against Novak, who lost serve and delivered five breaks to control the scoreboard. With those points, the Serb secured a top-10 spot on Monday, gaining a boost from that ahead of facing Rafael Nadal in the semi-final.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met in the 2007 Indian Wells final.

"The victory means a lot to me; Indian Wells is one of the most significant tournaments after Majors. I'm thrilled to get through and reach the final at the season's first Masters 1000 event.

Majors and Masters 1000 tournaments are essential for every player; everyone is trying to make a good result there. The title match gives me much confidence and motivation ahead of the clash with Rafael Nadal. Breaking the top-10 is a big thing for me, achieving that at 19 after a couple of notable results in the past 12 months.

I'm good enough to chase even higher goals in the years to come. I'm trying to play without pressure and not think about the ranking or that stuff. It's not a pleasant sight to see your opponent playing like that due to an injury; people certainly expected more.

I was aware of Andy's qualities and that he could come back straight away despite the problems; that's why I tried to remain focused. He was slow and made a lot of errors, but I did not think he would retire; Andy is a great fighter even though it was difficult for him to play today after twisting his ankle last night," Novak Djokovic said.