Novak Djokovic continues his current dominant form in men’s tennis, beating Miami Open sixth seed Kei Nishikori in straight sets by 6-3, 6-3 in the final to claim the title.
Dropping serve in the first game was perhaps the only flaw Djokovic had in what was otherwise an unblemished game for even the world number one. He essentially outclassed the Japanese player in every aspect of the game on the Key Biscayne hardcourt.
The Serbian took a mere 85 minutes to take his sixth Miami Open and level with Andre Agassi as the top winner of the tournament. This was also his 63rd career title, earning him $1,028,300 and the honour of being the sport’s all-time leading money-winner.
“It’s quite amazing,” said the Serb. “I’m very thrilled about it and hopefully I can make many more records.”
“I thought he started very well, breaking my serve in the first game and coming up with some aggressive play,” he added. “I needed to answer right back, which I did in the following game – that helped me mentally.”
This also marks the beginning of yet another good year ahead for Djokovic, having won three consecutive championships, his 28th in overall, in the Masters 1000. It was also his fourth title after winning this year’s tennis titles such as the Australian Open, Qatar and the Indian Wells.
The win would move Djokovic ahead of Rafael Nadal as winner of the highest number of Master titles.
Earlier, Victoria Azarenka kept up her impressive form this year by claiming her third Miami Open to follow up her triumph over Serena Williams at the Indian Wells.
The Belarusian, who is currently fifth in world rankings, exploited Svetlana Kuznetsova weak serve to win by straight sets, 6-3 6-2 in just 80 minutes. Pouncing on Kuznetsova’s second serve, she managed to break the Russian five times in the first set alone.
Azarenka was not without her faults either; she was broken three times in the first set.
But the 13th seed of the tournament toughed up, and held on in the second set to finish the game with a strong backhand ground stroke. Thus, she earned her 20th career title and her third title this year, having also won at the Indian Wells and Brisbane.
“It was pretty tough conditions with being so hot,” she said. “It didn’t seem too windy but it was really difficult to serve because the ball was flying too much. I really took my opportunities, stepped into the net a lot.”
“This just gives me even more inspiration and motivation to keep working harder,” Azarenka added. “I’m very happy that all the work that I’ve been putting in is paying off. It’s such a great opportunity to play the whole month so consistent.“