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Djokovic Denies Nadal To Claim Miami Crown

Miami, U.S.A.

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Novak Djokovic won the Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time on Sunday as he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in the Sony Open Tennis final. 

Djokovic becomes just the second player to achieve the feat, following in the footsteps of Roger Federer (2005-06), whom he beat two weeks ago in the final of the BNP Paribas Open. Djokovic first clinched the back-to-back March ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments during a record-breaking run at the start of 2011, when he went undefeated in 41 straight matches before losing in the Roland Garros semi-finals.

It is the fourth time that Djokovic has won the Miami crown, having previously triumphed in 2007 (d. Canas), 2011 (d. Nadal) and 2012 (d. Murray). The 26 year old has won 18 of his past 19 matches at Crandon Park since 2011, with his only defeat coming against Tommy Haas in the fourth round last year.

"It's been a fantastic tournament, a very enjoyable time as it always is in Miami," said Djokovic. "I played a great match, from the start to the end everything was working really well. It's always a challenge and a pleasure to play against Rafa. Back in 2007 I won my first big title here in Miami and I have the greatest memories from this centre court."

In a devastating display by Djokovic, the Serb clinched victory in 84 minutes. After saving a break point in the first game, he yielded no further chances to Nadal, winning 85 per cent of points behind his first serve, and broke the Spaniard three times, including in the final game of the match. Djokovic maintained his perfect record in tour-level finals after winning the first set.

Read: How The Final Was Won

Victory marked Djokovic’s 43rd tour-level title and 18th at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level. The Belgrade native is 14th on the all-time title leaders list, one trophy behind Thomas Muster, and passed Andre Agassi for third on the all-time Masters 1000 titles list.

In their 40th meeting – the most frequent Open Era match-up – Djokovic recorded his third win in a row over Nadal and reduced the FedEx ATP Head2Head deficit to 18-22. The Serb has prevailed in 14 of their 21 hard-court meetings. After losing to Nadal in the US Open final, he defeated the Spaniard in the final in Beijing and in the title match at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. It is Djokovic's most comprehensive victory over Nadal since defeating the Mallorcan for the loss of five games in the 2009 BNP Paribas Masters semi-finals.

Between them, Djokovic and Nadal now hold all nine of the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. Djokovic has won the past four, having closed 2013 with victory in Shanghai (d. del Potro) and Paris (d. Ferrer), and has won 20 matches in a row at ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level.

For Nadal, the wait goes on as he looks to finally lay his hands on the elusive Miami title. The Spaniard finished runner-up at Crandon Park for the fourth time, having previously lost out in 2005 (l. to Federer), 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic). It is one of just three ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crowns (also Paris and Shanghai) that he is yet to win.

"I want to congratulate Novak and his team, he played an amazing two tournaments in a row," said Nadal. "Winning Indian Wells and Miami is very difficult to do. In no other tournament have I lost this many finals, but it's always a very special tournament for me. The energy and passion from the crowd is unforgettable."

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