ThrowbackTimes: Novak Djokovic goes 23-0 after beating Mardy Fish



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ThrowbackTimes: Novak Djokovic goes 23-0 after beating Mardy Fish

Winning the Davis Cup with his teammates at the end of the previous season and solving the health issues, Novak Djokovic was ready to conquer the men's tennis in 2011, making a stellar start to win the Australian Open, Dubai and Indian Wells.

With no intentions to slow down, the Serb dropped 18 games in the opening ten sets in Miami, standing as the favorite to win the first title in Florida in four years following a 6-3, 6-1 semi-final triumph over Mardy Fish in an hour and 26 minutes, notching the 23rd straight win in 2011.

It was the sixth meeting between the two and the sixth triumph for Novak, who struggled a bit on the second serve but still kept service games intact after fending off all four break chances. Serving at 54% wasn't the best way to beat the world's leading returner, with Fish losing 46% of the points behind the initial shot and suffering four breaks to propel Djokovic into the final against Rafael Nadal.

Novak tamed his strokes nicely to hit a similar number of winners and unforced errors, forcing more than 20 mistakes from Fish, who also made that many unforced ones to ruin his chances. Interestingly, the American was on the level terms with the Serb in the more extended rallies, losing ground in the shortest ones as he couldn't pass Novak with service winners or attacks from the opening groundstroke, something he needed badly to fight for the win.

The home player drew first blood with a forehand winner in game three that offered him two break chances, denied by two booming serves from Djokovic, who closed the game to avoid an early setback.

In 2011, Novak Djokovic defeated Mardy Fish in Miami semi-final to set Nadal clash.

The rain moved them from the court for about an hour in the fifth game, with Mardy earning another break chance when they returned.

Like with the opening two, Novak erased it with a service winner and found the range on the return in the next game to secure a break after a 27-shot rally that sent him 4-2 up. Serving for the set at 5-3, Djokovic had to play against two more break opportunities, surviving them both and taking the opener with a service winner after 50 minutes.

Mardy sprayed a forehand error in the second set's first game to find himself a set and a break down, with Novak holding at 15 after an ace to establish a 6-3, 2-0 advantage and take another big step towards the finish line.

His win became inevitable following another break at 3-1, saving a break point in the next one with a service winner to move closer to his goal. Djokovic moved over the top with another break at 5-1 when he landed a forehand winner that sent him into another final.