Novak Djokovic was on a roll on Sunday, despite having to deal with a faulty racket to win the Sony Ericsson Open with a final score of 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4). It wasn’t an easy ride, however. Across the net was world number 1 Rafael Nadal, and the two exchanged viscous shots one after another for more than three hours before Djokovic emerged the winner.
Djokovic fell behind early in the game when he dropped the serve for the first time. This was followed by a small outburst directed at the ball box, and further into the match he would shout at the direction of his coach and friends, who seemed to be used to the player’s emotional outbursts.
“I’m an emotional player, and I show my emotions,” Djokovic said by way of explanation. He displayed the same intensity when he was nearing the finish line. The Serb clinched the win with a cross-court shot before jumping up and down and signaling the crowd for more cheers. He clearly has had a lot of practice getting a crowd going before a win, winning three past tournaments in the year, including the Australian Open and Indian Wells.
This victory sums his total Key Biscayne wins to two, while Nadal falls to 0-3. The win also makes him the first man after Roger Federer to win Indian Wells and Key Biscayne back to back. The Serb won his first Key Biscayne title in 2007, the biggest title of his career back then.
“Such a close match,” the Serb said. “To win against the No. 1 player of the world in a tiebreak in the third set, it’s just incredible.”
However, despite the excellent start to the season Djokovic is not yet ready to claim the top spot, saying,
“It’s a bit early to talk about getting that top spot in the rankings. Rafa is definitely the best player in the world now. If I want to have the No. 1 ranking, I need to play consistently well throughout the whole year.”