Roger Federer was the player to beat in Indian Wells and Miami in 2005 and 2006, winning four titles and proving his dominance over the rest of the field. Returning to the "Sunshine Double" in 2007, Federer was the favorite to claim at least one trophy, but that wasn't the case, as he lost at both events to Guillermo Canas.
The Argentine toppled the Swiss 7-5, 6-2 in Indian Wells to perform a top-class surprise, having another chance to fight against the world's leading player in Miami two weeks later. It was a much tighter encounter than the desert one, and the outcome was the same, as Canas prevailed 7-6, 2-6, 7-6 in the fourth round to dethrone Federer for the second straight event.
Speaking about the match, Novak Djokovic praised the Argentine and his fighting spirit, saying he deserved to beat Roger twice in a row. On the other hand, the Serb enjoyed two great weeks, reaching the final in Indian Wells and staying on the title course in Miami after the first victory over Rafael Nadal in the quarters.
Novak needed an hour and 37 minutes to beat Rafa 6-3, 6-4, winning 15 out of 20 points on the second serve and repelling four out of five break chances to keep the pressure on the other side of the net. Nadal couldn't match that pace, getting broken three times to propel Djokovic over the top.
Novak built the advantage in the fourth game before giving serve away in the next one.
Guillermo Canas defeated Roger Federer in Indian Wells and Miami 2007.
Staying focused, Djokovic broke for the second straight time, cemented the lead with a hold at love and clinched the opener with a volley winner at 5-3.
In the second set's third game, Nadal saved three break chances to remain in touch and earned a break opportunity in the next one after a volley winner. Novak dismissed it with a powerful forehand and brought the game home with a beautiful volley to level the score at 2-2.
Nadal netted a slice backhand in the fifth game to suffer a crucial break, sending the younger opponent in front and allowing Djokovic to serve for the victory at 5-4. Novak had to work hard in that tenth game, fending off three break chances and sealing the deal with an ace to celebrate the first triumph over Nadal.
"I'm trying to compare myself with the best players in the world. It's not just a comparison with Andy Murray. My lifetime goal is to become world no. 1, and I'm doing my best to achieve that. I saw the match between Roger Federer and Guillermo Canas; it was a strange one.
Canas deserved the win in the end, fighting a lot against probably the best player ever. It's not easy to beat Federer twice in as many weeks," Novak Djokovic said.