World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, even on an off day, proved he is head and shoulders above the competition, defeating Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 for a sixth career Miami Open crown.
“This is one of the best tournaments we have in the sport,” said Djokovic, who cryptically told ESPN the tournament would be staying in Miami for many years to come. “It been an amazing hardcourt season once again, winning Indian Wells and Miami. The first Miami title I won was in 2007 and it opened a lot of doors for me, gave me a lot of confidence at 19 years old. I’m proud of what I achieved and trying to cherish every moment on the court.”
Nishikori was also off his game in the final, having difficulty implementing any game plan whatsoever that gave Djokovic problems, and also suffering from service yips. Djokovic survived back and forth break trades in the first set, and took and early break lead in the second.
“Congratulations Novak, an incredible two tournaments in a row,” Nishikori said of Djokovic winning Indian Wells and Miami back-to-back. “Hope I can get you next time. Playing Novak is always a great challenge for me. I hope I can win a Masters next time.”
Nishikori fell to 0-2 in Masters finals.
“It was a really tough one,” Nishikori said. “He has great defence, so it’s tough to break his game. And it was windy. So I couldn’t really be too aggressive because the ball was moving and it was tough to do that. He was very patient and he didn’t miss. It’s always so tough to play Novak.”
Djokovic won the Indian Wells-Miami double for an incredible fourth time in his career (2011, ’14-16). Roger Federer has done it twice, and five other players once each.
Other records getting revisions were Djokovic reaching a 12th straight Masters-level final, becoming the all-time Masters title leader with 28, becoming the all-time money leader in men’s tennis, and tying Andre Agassi’s three Miami titles in a row.
“Of course I’m very grateful and proud of all the achievements,” Djokovic said. “And the fact that I put myself in a position to make records and to have my name in the history books is a great incentive before matches like this.
“But I didn’t think about it too much. It didn’t impose any pressure, or I didn’t want to have it as a distraction; rather as a motivation.”
It’s quite amazing. I’m very thrilled about it. Hopefully I can make many more records.
The Serb is now 28-1 in 2016. He improved to 63-26 in finals, and 28-12 in Masters finals. Nishikori dropped to 11-6 in career finals.
Next up for Djokovic will be starting his claycourt campaign at the Monte Carlo Masters.
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