In another masterclass performance, Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 in the Miami final, proving once again that he is few levels above all other players at the moment.Kei was unable to deal with mighty Djokovic, with no solutions for Serb's deep and precise groundstrokes.
Match lasted 1 hour and 26 minutes, and it never looked that Nishikori will be able to came victorious in the end, as Novak was just too strong, especially on return. This triumph has brought some amazing record for Novak, as he is now officially the greatest player of the Masters 1000 series, established in 1990.
After his unique string in Masters events over the last few years, he was slowly but surely cutting the gap behind former record-holder Rafael Nadal, and here in Miami Djokovic comes on top, probably for the many many years to come (who knows with how many Masters 1000 crowns he will end his career..).
This was the 28th Masters 1000 title that he won, as everything started way back in 2007 right here in Miami. Novak is now the ruler of the prominent ATP series ahead of Nadal, and he also tied the record of Andre Agassi with 6 Miami crowns.
For the third year in succession, Novak claimed the Indian Wells-Miami double and the 4th time overall (2011), on his way towards being probably the greatest hard court player of all time. Since 2007, 20 Masters 1000 events were played in Indian Wells and Miami, with Novak victorious in 11 of them! This was the 9th meeting between the two, with Novak victorious in previous 5, since that costly loss at 2014 US Open semi-final.
If he wanted any chance today, Kei needed a strong and safe start, which looked possible after he broke Novak in very the first game of the match. Novak responded in champions manner, breaking back to level the score at 1-1.
After that, the 5-time champion has settled into a nice rhythm on serve, with two love service games. Kei was not able to follow that, losing his serve once again in game 6, after wasting a game point. Djokovic was 4-2 in front but he needed few more games before he could seal the set, as he was careless on his serve in game 7, letting Nishikori back on the right side of the scoreline.
The 8th game brought the third consecutive break, putting the Nishikori in all kind of troubles. Djokovic found Kei's weak serves easy to handle, imposing the leading position in most of the points. He finished the set with a love service game after 34 minutes, and everybody knew that he will soon lift another trophy.
Novak served at 72%, losing only 8 points on serve and, on the other hand, he completely neutralized Nishikori's game, claiming the 60% of the return points. He had 5 winners and 8 unforced errors, with Kei on the same number of winners but with 8 errors more than his rival, having no chance for any better result with the numbers like that.
The first serve percentage has dropped for both players in the second set, but that was, of course, a much bigger problem for the Japanese. Novak broke him in the opening game (Kei served 5 times since the start of the match, and held only once) and that was all he needed, as he was ruthless on his serve, losing only 4 points in the entire set.
After he saved another break point in game 7, Kei was forced to take a medical timeout for his left knee, unable to move as well as he would like towards the end of the match. 9th game was the longest one, Novak managed to break after 4 deuces to seal the deal.