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Nadal To Face Djokovic In Miami Final

Miami, U.S.A.

Nadal© Getty ImagesRafael Nadal will look to win the Miami crown at the fourth attempt.

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will contest the Sony Open Tennis final for the second time after both received walkovers through the semi-finals on Friday in Miami.

Nadal and Djokovic clashed in the 2011 title match at Crandon Park, with Djokovic prevailing in a third-set tie-break. The pair will meet for the first time this season. Nadal leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head series 22-17, but has lost his past two meetings with Djokovic, losing in the finals in Beijing and at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Read: Rafa Vs. Novak The Rivalry

Three-time Miami champion Djokovic is bidding to win the Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time in his career (also 2011), having beaten Roger Federer in the Californian desert two weeks ago. The Belgrade native lifted the trophy in Miami in 2007, ’11-12. 

The 27-year-old Nadal is looking to clinch the elusive Miami crown, having finished runner-up three times previously in 2005 (l. to Federer), 2008 (l. to Davydenko) and 2011.

Djokovic had been due to face Roger Federer’s conqueror, Kei Nishikori, in the semi-finals, but the Japanese player was forced to withdraw with a left groin injury.

Writing on his Facebook page, Nishikori said, “Very sorry to say that I have to pull out today. Very disappointed and I am obviously very sorry for any fans that wanted to come out for this match. 

“This tournament is very special to me and I look forward to coming back in the years to come. I will work with my medical team to be back healthy as soon as possible.”

Tomas Berdych then pulled out from his scheduled semi-final clash with Nadal due to gastroenteritis. The Czech is set for a return to the Top 5 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday, having beaten Alexandr Dolgopolov in the quarter-finals.

"I was feeling really in good shape to go and play Rafa," said Berdych, who began feeling unwell on Friday morning. "I'm really very disappointed with the way that I have to be sitting here and talking, not even as the one who lost and didn't even have a chance to hit the ball."

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