World number one and two-time Miami Open defending champion Novak Djokovic breezed past Czech seventh seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3 to reach the semifinals on Key Biscayne. Djokovic kept up his dominant head to head against the Czech, extending it to 23-2 as he brushed past Berdych to reach the last four.
Djokovic Fights Through Tricky Opening Set
In the opening game of the match, Djokovic held through a tough service game, fighting off a break point in a long deuce game. The world number one then immediately broke Berdych to go up 2-0 in the opener. But the Czech responded immediately, breaking back to level the set at 2-1. The Serb then kept up the streak of breaks, finding a way past the Berdych serve to go up 3-1 on his first break chance. The two then held easily to bring the set to 5-3, with the defending champion serving for the set. The eleven-time Grand Slam champion took the set in emphatic fashion, holding easily to go up a set, putting himself in good stead to keep up his dominant head to head against the Czech.
Djokovic Eases Through Second Set To Book Semifinal Spot
The five time Miami Open champion kept up his dominant play, breaking the seven seed immediately to go up 1-0. Djokovic then held in a lengthy deuce game to consolidate the break and go up 2-0 on the Czech. Midway through the set, the defending champion received treatment on his lower back, but the injury did not appear to bother the world number one. The two then held easily three times each to bring the set to 5-3, putting the pressure on the Serb to serve out the match and a spot in the semifinals. The world number one made no mistake, holding to seal the match 6-3, 6-3 and a spot in the last four at Crandon Park.
Djokovic By The Numbers
The world number one served well throughout, making an impressive 64% of first serves and winning 69% of those first deliveries. The eleven-time major champion also made 64% of second serves, the same as his first, and a key to his straight sets win. The five-time Miami Open champion only faced three break points, saving two of the three to show his serving prowess over the Czech. Djokovic's dominant serving performance served as a major factor in his easy win over his Czech rival on Wednesday in Key Biscayne.
Djokovic Discusses The Win
When asked about his lopsided head to head against the Czech, Djokovic said, "Obviously it does have a certain effect," said the Serb. "Maybe (it) factors in the mental side coming into the match."
"I was trying to find the rhythm on the serve," said the world number one. "Evidently we both struggled with that."
"The swirly conditions on the court were quite tough. Once you toss the ball you can't predict where it's going to end up," added the 11-time major champion. "That's why I had a little bit of a spasm in the back but Paul from the ATP did a great job."
When asked about the lower back problem, the defending champion said,"No concerns, not at all."
Up Next For Djokovic
Up next for the five-time Miami winner is 15th seeded Belgian David Goffin. Djokovic and Goffin are both playing in their second straight semifinal, with the two both reaching the last four in Indian Wells as well. The Belgian reached the last four courtesy of a hard fought 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 win over Frenchmen Gilles Simon. Djokovic and Goffin have played three times before, with the Serb coming out on top in all three. The two most recently played last year in Cincinnati, where Djokovic came out on top 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.