Djokovic sets up Murray final after Nadal withdraws
Saturday 31 March 2012
Defending champion Novak Djokovic claimed a 6-0 7-6 (7/5) win over Argentina's Juan Monaco to book his place in the Sony Ericsson Open final against Andy Murray.
In contrast to Murray, who advanced without playing a shot as Rafael Nadal withdrew through injury, what looked like being a simple outing for Djokovic turned into something more taxing as Monaco battled back in the second set.
Indeed, there were echoes of yesterday's match against David Ferrer for the Serbian.
The first set could barely have been simpler for Djokovic as he dropped only eight points.
And though Monaco upped his game in the second set, making life uncomfortable for the top seed, Djokovic seemed to be on his way to a straightforward win as he served for the match at 5-4.
But, just as Ferrer did yesterday, Monaco broke back and took the set into a tie-break.
It only delayed the inevitable, though, as the defending champion sealed his progress on his second match point.
"It was a very similar match to the one against Ferrer.
"It was [an] exciting match I think for us to play and for the crowd. I didn't expect an easy match and [I'm] just happy to be through."
Nadal, meanwhile, revealed he pulled out of his semi-final against Murray because he did not want to "lie to everybody".
The world number two fell foul of his long-suffering knees in Miami, this time his left one, handing Murray a free pass.
Nadal still opted to face the media, though, and admitted he made the decision, albeit just two hours prior to the start of the match, in the interests of honesty.
"But I am not ready to compete today. I am very sorry for the fans. I'm very sorry for the tournament. I'm very sorry for everybody who was ready to watch the match on television. I cannot go on court and lie to everybody."
Murray was disappointed not to be able to put his game plan, worked out with coach Ivan Lendl, to the test.
"Every time you play against one of the top guys in the world, it's always a good opportunity to see where your game's at," he was quoted as saying.
"I have been working with Ivan now for a couple of months, on certain tactics that would work against Rafa, Novak and Roger [Federer].
"It would have been nice to see whether or not those things were working."
Murray will get the chance to try out some of those tactics as he faces Djokovic for the third time this season in Sunday's final.
Djokovic beat the Scot in five sets in the Australian Open semi-final on his way to claiming the Melbourne crown, but Murray got his revenge at the same stage in Dubai.
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns