World no.1 Novak Djokovic made Sunday a historic day at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
With a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Japanese sixth seed Kei Nishikori, Novak became the new career ATP Masters 1000 titles leader, passing Rafael Nadal with his 28th title.
The one hour, 26 minute win elevated Nole’s head-to-head record against fellow Uniqlo ambassador to 7–2.
Novak and Kei traded service breaks twice in the opening set before Djokovic broke once more in the eighth game and held to love for 6-3 in 34 minutes.
The momentum continued in the second set with the Belgrade native breaking his rival twice, in the first and ninth games. He converted on his third match point to claim his 63rd career title and tie Andre Agassi’s tournament mark of six trophies.
“It was my best performance of the tournament,” Djokovic said. “It came at the right time against a great player. I thought he started very well, breaking my serve in the first game and coming up with some aggressive play. I needed to answer right back, which I did in the following game – that helped me mentally.”
Match statistics: aces (0-0), double faults (2-5), winners (14-10), unforced errors (22-29).
Novak captured his fourth title of the season after being victorious in Doha, Melbourne and Indian Wells, and improved his stellar record for the year to 28-1.
The Serbian tennis star did not drop a set en route to the triumph, just like in 2007, when he won his first ATP Masters 1000 trophy at Key Biscayne, becoming the youngest winner in tournament history (at 19 yrs., 314 days).
“Every year that I come back to Miami, I go through those memories from 2007, the first Masters I won. It opened a lot of doors for me, gave me a lot of self-belief,” Nole added. “I started to realize I was able to win the big trophies and beat the best players in the world.“
Djokovic has a 42-5 tournament record at the Crandon Park Tennis Center, winning the title in 2007, 2011, 2012, and then completing the three-peat between 2014-16.
What Novak achieved in Miami:
– Won record 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title
– Became all-time prize money leader on ATP World Tour
– Tied Andre Agassi’s tournament mark of six trophies
– Completed Indian Wells-Miami double for unprecedented fourth time
– Passed his coach Boris Becker for 11th on Open Era match wins list w/ 714
“The fact I managed to win the most Masters ever is a remarkable achievement I’m very proud of. It’s quite amazing. To put myself in position to have records and be in history books is a great accomplishment. Hopefully I can make many more records.”
Next tournament for Novak will be the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters from April 10-17 where he won 2nd crown last year beating Tomas Berdych 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the final.
Photos: Getty Images