Novak Djokovic comprehensively beats World number one Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-3 in the 2014 Miami Men’s Final
Djokovic would set the tempo early with the template to be used for the whole match. He made two strong serve returns which forced Nadal errors and a long baseline rally showed Djokovic pushing Nadal side to side and deep in the court before Djokovic ended the point with a backhand crosscourt winner. Nadal didn’t help his cause by converting just two of five first serves and the Serbian star had a break of serve for a 1-0 lead.
Djokovic would control the rest of the set with his serve (first serve points won at 82% for match) and his ability to keep Nadal pinned to the back of the court. Many of the rallies would end with a forced error or Djokovic winner off a short ball – and Djokovic was moving Nadal so much that a plethora of the points ended with Nadal’s normally feared forehand sailing long or into the net.
Djokovic would give up only one point in his last two service games of the first set and suddenly it was 6-3 before a packed stadium in South Florida.
The commencement of 2nd set was a microcosm of match: two strong returns forcing errors and a long baseline rally closed by a backhand crosscourt winner by Djokovic for an early break of serve.
At 1-0 in the second set, Nadal forced deuce but Djokovic answered by forcing another Nadal error after a protracted rally and a big serve – a deep backhand created another Nadal forehand error to solidify the break and a 2-0 lead.
The formula for the rest of the match was dictated by Djokovic’s continued strong serving, aggressive service returns and his ability to keep Nadal at bay behind the baseline before Djokovic would force the error or produce another angled baseline winner.
TV Analyst, Sam Gore, said, “Winning between these two is highly dependent on how well each defends their second serve.”(paraphrase) Djokovic was winning 62% on his second serves played and this along with his domination of court positioning proved too much for Nadal. (CBSSports)
In the last game, Djokovic attacked Nadal’s service with two strong returns to force immediate errors and another baseline rally predictably ended with a Nadal error. At 15-40, Djokovic broke serve by winning a head to head at the net in which he brought Nadal forward and then intercepted his passing attempt into the open court.
The win was Djokovic’s 43rd ATP title, 4th Miami win and his 18th Masters 1000. He is the second man to win Indian Wells and Miam consecutively (his second time completing this feat).
(Above statistics and quotes cited to CBSSports and Tennis Channel.)