World number one Novak Djokovic is one victory away from a sixth Miami Open title after easing past Belgium’s David Goffin in straight sets at the Tennis Center in Crandon Park.
Only Kei Nishikori of Japan stands in the way of the Serbian, after the sixth seed beat Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in the other semi-final of a tournament that a ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event.
Djokovic, winner of the Australian Open in January, overcame his Belgian opponent 7-6, 6-4 in a match lasting two hours and five minutes in hot conditions.
“It was evident that we both struggled with conditions,” he admitted afterwards.
“Physically, it was a great battle.
“I think we were both trying to catch some breath after some points.
“It was windy, it was warm, it was humid.”
Djokovic had been a break down early in the first set only to break back and win the decisive tiebreak after a Goffin error with the court gaping at 4-4.
The 28-year-old winner is attempting to match Andre Agassi’s record of winning six Miami titles, while also becoming the first man to win the Indian Wells-Miami double three years in a row.
Nishikori, winner of just nine games in a straight sets loss to Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, beat surprise semi-finallist Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5 in the evening session.
He admitted he has his work cut-out to claim the title in what will be his first Miami final.
“It’s going to be tough,” the 26-year-old, defeated in six of his eight clashes with Djokovic, said.
“We just played in Australia and I lost in straight sets, so I need to do something better.”
The final is due to take place on Sunday (April 3).
The women’s final between Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova scheduled for tomorrow.
- By Nick Butler
- Republish with permission insidethegames.biz