Novak Djokovic made a great start to the 2007 season, winning the title in Adelaide and losing to Roger Federer at the Australian Open. Novak reached his first Masters 1000 final in Indian Wells, battling for a notable title at 19.
Djokovic fell to world no. 2 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 34 minutes, fighting hard in the second set but settling with the runner-up spot. Novak praised Rafa, admitting he was a better rival. However, the Serb felt confident about his chances against the Spaniard in the future, trusting his shots and skills.
The more experienced player made a better start and closed the opening set in style. Novak raised his level in set number two and proved his quality against world no. 2. Nadal fended off three break chances in the second set's fourth game and faced more trouble in games eight and ten.
Novak reached deuces but could not make an extra step and create break points. Nadal kept his serve intact and delivered a crucial break at 5-5 to move in front. The Spaniard sealed the deal on his serve a few minutes later for his seventh Masters 1000 crown and the first in the desert.
Novak Djokovic felt confident about his game in early 2007.
"Nadal was a better player today; I must admit that and congratulate him. I did not play my best tennis. I was not 100% fit, although that's not the main reason for my level.
I'm delighted with my tournament and the season's start. It's essential to play the best tennis during the most important tournaments. I was nervous initially, playing my first Masters 1000 final. After a couple of games, the stadium was more or less packed, with a crowd of 15,000 watching the encounter; the atmosphere was great.
Rafa started strong, and I did not, making a lot of unforced errors. His forehand worked like a charm, which gave him control. I tried to make a comeback in the second set, playing a little better since the end of the first. I had massive opportunities, especially those three break chances in the fourth game and deuces at 4-3 and 5-4.
However, I wasted them and allowed Rafa to seal the deal in straight sets. My backhand did not work like I would have wanted. Also, I did not move great, making many mistakes. Rafa is more experienced than me, competing at around 20 Masters 1000 and Major finals at 20.
I could have played better, but I have to stay positive. I can compete against Rafa from the baseline; my shots are powerful, too. I will keep in touch with him with an improved backhand, like today in set number two," Novak Djokovic said.
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