Saturday, April 2, 2016 1:27 pm
Top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Belgium’s David Goffin to book a Miami Open final date with Japan’s Kei Nishikori, who had also fended off a challenge from Australian rising talent, Nick Krygios.
Nishikori ended Krygios run 6-3, 7-5.
Djokovic beat Goffin 7-6(5) 6-4 victory as he continued his pursuit of a fifth title in six years on Key Biscayne.
Australian Open champion Djokovic improved his stellar record for the year to 27-1.
The 28-year-old Djokovic, a five-times champion in Miami, is bidding to match Andre Agassi’s record of six titles at the event and earn a record 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. He won last year and in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014.
Djokovic, whose only defeat this year came in February when he retired against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in Dubai due to an eye infection, applauded Goffin’s performance.
“He plays very clean,” Djokovic said. “Also, I think he improved his serve. I had difficulty reading it. Physically, it was a great battle with lots of exchanges from the baseline.”
Goffin, 25, who reached his first Masters 1000 semi-final in Indian Wells two weeks ago, is projected to climb to a career-high 13th in the world rankings on Monday.
Nishikori made his first Miami final by taking out brash young Australian Kyrgios in some style.
“It’s a great feeling to be in my first final in Miami and it was very good playing today so I’m very happy,” said the sixth seeded Japanese.
While happy to get through he was under no illusions of what lay ahead on Sunday, when he will be looking to break a five-match losing streak against the Serbian world number one.
“It’s going to be tough for sure,” he admitted. “He’s been playing well and we just played in Australia and I lost in three sets so I will have to do something better.
“I hope can play another good match.”
The women’s final will be played today at 6pm Nigerian time between Belarussian Victoria Azarenka who won the Indian Wells Open two weeks ago, and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova.