Novak Djokovic was the upcoming star in 2006 and 2007. The Serb made significant steps towards the top and showed his rich talent in those years. Finishing inside the top-20 in 2006, Novak was ready for more a year later, kicking off the 2007 season with the Adelaide title.
In March, 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. In Indian Wells, Rafael Nadal defeated Novak in the title match, with the Serb avenging the loss in Miami's quarter-final.
Roger Federer fell to Guillermo Canas at both events, and Novak had a clear path towards the crown in Florida, beating the Argentine 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in two hours and 20 minutes. Djokovic was the favorite, and he proved that on the court with a dominant performance.
Novak saved all five break chances, and Guillermo could not follow that pace. The Argentine served at only 54% and suffered four breaks that carried a teenager over the top. Djokovic had the upper hand in the shortest and most extended exchanges, overpowering the rival who did a great job in the past three weeks.
Novak kicked off the encounter with a smash winner and fended off a break chance in game three. A backhand down the line clinched a break at love for the Serb in the next game, and he cemented it with an ace that sent him 4-1 up.
Serving for the set in game nine, Novak held at 15 after Guillermo's forehand error to grab the opener 6-3. After four good holds at the start of the second set, Djokovic blasted a forehand down the line to force an error from his opponent and grab a break.
Novak Djokovic was a player to beat in March 2007.
He defended three break chances in the next one that lasted 20 minutes for an even more significant boost. It took all the energy from Canas, who got broken at love in game seven after Djokovic's backhand down the line winner that sent the Serb 5-2 up.
Novak closed the set and moved closer to the finish line in the last best-of-five Masters 1000 final. 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. Novak sealed the deal in the next game with a forehand winner, celebrating his first out of many Masters 1000 trophies. "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 in Miami. I'm playing consistent tennis, and it's good to see someone new in tennis," Novak Djokovic said.