Two rivals and good friends meet again for the third time this year, the 26th overall as World No. 1 Novak Djokovic clashes with Andy Murray in the Miami Open final.
Djokovic leads 17-8 winning the last six meeting since Murray’s return from back surgery 15 months ago. The two met at the Australian Open and again last month at Indian Wells, won easily by the Serb.
Murray does have a win over Djokovic in the 2009 Miami final, but that was Novak’s only loss in four meetings on the part-time Miami’s resident’s practice court.
And Djokovic has won the last nine battles on the hardcourts.
Both come off well-played straight-set semifinal wins Friday, and both should be well rested after a Saturday day off.
Earlier, Murray had no trouble beating Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4 leveling his head-to-head with the Czech st 6-6.
“I felt like I served well,” said Murray. “It was tricky from one end of the court. We’re basically serving right into the sun at that time of day, so I had to take a little bit off the serve. On the second serve it was very tough to see.
“But I thought when I was behind in games, like the last game, for example, I came up with some big serves and was able to dictate a lot of the rallies from the baseline as well. I was moving him around a lot. That was good.”
After a tough first set, Djokovic advanced tonight in convincing fashion over the dangerous big server John Isner 7-6, 6-2. Isner had just earned back-to-back Top 10 wins but looked wary in the second set against the World No. 1.
“I’m glad that I managed to realise everything that I intended tactically before the match,” said Djokovic. “It’s always tough to play somebody that serves that well.
“At the end of the day, it is important to hang in there mentally, be patient… I used the court very well, and [I’m] pleased with the performance.”
Djokovic is seeking a fifth Miami title. He has won his last nine Masters finals and 15 straight wins at that level. Murray is bidding for his third Miami title and first win of the season.
The match will be played Sunday at 1pm ET.
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