Novak Djokovic will have the opportunity to defend his Sony Ericsson Open title on Sunday. The world number one ousted Argentine Juan Monaco 6-0, 7-6 to reach the final.
What a difference a day makes. Yesterday, Monaco was on cloud nine as he ushered in his 28th birthday by taking apart world number eight Mardy Fish for his first semifinal showing at the Sony Ericsson Open.
The Monaco of the quarterfinals was no where to be found the opening set. In twenty-seven minutes, conceding only eight points with two by way of double faults, Djokovic wrapped up the first set.
Monaco last encountered Djokovic in 2010 and had yet to compete against the new iron man version. Having lost their previous four meetings, Monaco was perhaps shell-shocked. With such a dismal performance, the Argentine could only improve.
Monaco salvaged break point to open the second set then held at love for 2-1. Later, however after having two game points, Monaco surrendered his serve allowing Djokovic to get to 3-2.
Subsequent to staving off a break point, Monaco’s first of the evening, Djokovic extended his lead to 4-2.
With his backhand letting him down, Djokovic fended off triple break point to get to 5-3. Soon, with a hold at love, Monaco forced Djokovic to serve for the match.
The plot thickened as Monaco in another game with triple break point, converted the fourth time of asking to level the set at 5-5.
As Djokovic squandered a break point in the eleventh game, the match ultimately went to a tiebreaker.
Monaco’s weak link, the forehand, handed Djokovic a mini-break for 5-3. Although the Argentine recovered to ward off one match point. As another forehand sailed long, Djokovic booked his place into his fourth final in Miami.
Miami is Djokovic’s second final of the season after successfully defending at the Australian Open. Djokovic was pleased with the straight sets win “it was exciting match I think for us and for the crowd. It was semifinals. It was never going to be easy. I didn’t expect an easy match and just happy to be through”.
Yet, Djokovic admitted that he gave his opponents hope the last two matches “as I did yesterday in the quarterfinals, I started very strong, just going for the shots, being very aggressive. Then I just wasn’t able to close it out. . .all the credit to him for fighting and coming back. I gave him points. I made so many unforced errors that I got him back into the match”.
Djokovic will meet Andy Murray in the final. The Brit got a walkover as Rafael Nadal withdrew from the semifinals due to a knee injury.
Djokovic knows he will pay dearly if he has second sets similar to the last two against Murray “It could have been easily a third set. . .I’m in the finals and that’s a positive fact. I’ll try in the finals not to have that letdown”.
Subsequent to the semifinals at the Australian Open, Murray and Djokovic battled in Dubai with the former coming out on top.
Djokovic has a 7-5 edge over Murray. Murray defeated the Serb in the final at the Sony Ericsson Open in 2009.