Sunday, 3 April 2016

Djokovic and Nishikori book Miami finals spots

Friday's singles action at Miami was restricted to men's semi finals and the first of these was the top seed up against a vastly improved 15th seed Belgian David Goffin.  Sentimental favourite in this match for obvious reasons was Goffin, and he gave Djokovic plenty to think about, especially in the first set which was as even as any Novak had played in the tournament to date.  A break apiece ensured a tie break and Djokovic escaped 7-5.

The second set was also tight but Djokovic had the answers on important points, and he still was to concede a set, winning a spot in the final 7-6 6-4, and with it the chance of three Miami titles in succession and six in total to tie Andre Agassi.

He will have to defeat Kei Nishikori who ended the fabulous run of Nick Kyrgios in the other semi final. Nishikori was razor sharp and unfortunately for Kyrgios once he was involved in rallies the patience and accuracy of the 6th seed was too much for the Aussie to counter.  Losing his opening serve was not the start Nick wanted and Kei was able to hold his serve comfortably throughout set one, breaking again in the ninth game, taking the set 6-3, and importantly serving first in the second.

An immediate break of the Kyrgios serve in set two and things looked to spiralling out of control for the 24th seed, but he broke back with a steely resolve and both players held serve until 5-6, where Nishikori planted his foot firmly on the match, breaking Kyrgios for the final time to win the second spot in the final 6-3 7-5.

Of course the final would be a much different proposition, with Novak Djokovic awaiting, but one day Nishikori will be primed to beat the world number one, probably not this time.  After Nishikori defeated Djokovic in the 2014 US Open semis, he had 2-1 H2H lead.  Since then Djokovic has won all 5 clashes, including the decisive straight sets quarter final victory at this year's Australian Open.

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