Initially, defending champion Novak Djokovic appeared on his way to a routine win over David Ferrer. However, against the never say die Spaniard, the proceedings got complicated in a hurry. Still, Djokovic vanquished Ferrer 6-2, 7-6 to clinch another semifinal appearance at the Sony Ericsson Open.
Despite Djokovic’s 7-5 record against his rival, the Serb is well aware that Ferrer is someone who never admits defeat until the hand shake at the net.
After securing a break in the opening set, Djokovic jumped to a 3-1 edge. On a double fault from Ferrer, a second break was gifted and swiftly Djokovic punctuated the set.
Subsequent to breaking Ferrer to start the next set, Djokovic found himself in a protracted game. With his reliable backhand floundering, Djokovic surrendered his serve. Ferrer went on to guard serve and move ahead 2-1.
Unable to capitalized on a break point in the fourth game or build on a 0-30 advantage later, Ferrer stared at double break point when his forehand kissed his side of the net. Soon, Djokovic banked the break to arrive at 5-4.
However, with Djokovic serving for the match, Ferrer won a 40 stroke rally to manufacture break point. Then, with a forehand overhand winner, Ferrer knotted the second set at 5-5.
Down the road, a tiebreaker was required. Djokovic dominated to pen his name opposite Juan Monaco in the semifinal.
Djokovic acknowledged that he came in expecting to work for this victory “David, he’s like a wall on the court. [He] gets a lot of balls back, always makes you play an extra shot. So that’s something that I was expecting”.
The Serb went on to say “I needed to play aggressive and step into the court from the first point. That’s what I did. I had a fantastic first set. . .then in some moments, I allowed him to take control in the rallies and just waiting for him to make an unforced error. He used it wisely and he got back to the match. Luckily for me, it was decided in tiebreaker”.
Djokovic expressed that everyone on tour respects Ferrer greatly “because of his dedication to the sport. He’s a great guy off the court. Loves the sport. He’s very determined to improve always, a great competitor. You know, he runs for every ball. Before the match you see him, 20 minutes, he’s like nonstop running around. He’s so warmed up, he makes you warm up better. . . it’s bad luck for him to lose in many semifinals”.
Earlier in the day, Monaco who is celebrating his 28th birthday astonished top American Mardy Fish 6-1,6-3 to get to his first semifinal in Miami. Monaco who will be in his second Masters 1000 semifinal is hoping for his maiden victory over Djokovic.
Monaco and Djokovic have met four times last in 2010. Consequently, Monaco has never clashed against the new version of Djokovic who had a near perfect season in 2011.