Murray and Djokovic to square up in Miami final after Serbian breezes past Juan Monaco
Novak Djokovic will play British number one Andy Murray in the final of the Miami Masters 1000 tomorrow after seeing off the challenge of Juan Monaco in straight sets.
Frenchman Monaco, a surprise semi-finalist, was blown away in the first set as he managed to win only eight points. The underdog improved in the second, breaking Nole when he was serving for the match, but succumbed in the tie-break.
The Serbian world number one’s 6-0 7-6(5) victory ensured he reached the final without having dropped a set, and booked another showdown with his old friend Murray.
The Scot himself has dropped just one set, but has been on court for considerably less time having played only three matches. Rafael Nadal followed Murray’s proposed third-round opponent Milos Raonic in withdrawing from the competition through injury, a huge disappointment for fans in Miami who had flocked to see the Brit lock horns with from the man from Majorca once more.
On his withdrawal from the tournament, Rafa had this to say: “”I take no pleasure from this but I cannot go on court and lie to everybody. It looks like it’s nothing really different than happened a few times in the past. Hopefully with a few days off and with the right treatment, I will be in the right conditions to start to practice on the clay.”
The claycourt season begins in Monte Carlo on 16 April, so the Spaniard will be hoping to recover quickly so that he can wrestle some of the Masters 1000 tournaments back from the grasp of Djokovic, who of course had such a successful season on the brown stuff last time out. However, Nadal’s biggest target has to be reaching peak condition in time to defend his French Open title at the end of May.
Ahead of his third meeting with Djokovic in Miami, Murray is hopeful his work with new coach Ivan Lendl can help him build on his heroic defeat to the Serbian in the semi-finals of the Australian Open a couple of months ago. “I have been working with Ivan now for a couple of months, on certain tactics that would work against Rafa, Novak and Roger.”
“We have played a couple of times here and he won the first one easily in 2007 [6-1 6-0] and then I won the second one kind of comfortably in the final a few years ago [6-2 7-5]. I think both of us were quite immature at the time though; now we are very experienced on the tour. It is always a good test to play against the number one in the world to see where your game is at.”
Indeed, it will be the second time the two have contested the final in Miami and the British number one will be hoping for a similar outcome. In 2009 he managed to win the title, and if he does so again it will be his second tournament win of the year, adding to his victory in Brisbane in January.
Djokovic, with a head-to-head record of 7-5 in his favour against Murray, will be begin as the odds-on favourite though due to a remarkable run of form that has seen him claim four of the last five Grand Slams.
The match is due to begin on Sunday at 1730 BST.
The women’s final takes place tonight between Maria Sharapova and Agniezska Radwanska.