Novak Djokovic mastered the Miami Open presented by Itau for a third straight year and sixth overall, downing Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 to claim a record 28th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown.
The World No. 1 ended Rafael Nadal’s six-year reign with at least a share of the Masters 1000 title lead. Nadal had first assumed the mantle from Andre Agassi in 2010. With the victory, Djokovic also passed coach Boris Becker for sole possession of 11th place in the Open Era match wins list, capturing his 714th win.
Nishikori looked to have the upper hand as the match got underway on an overcast Sunday afternoon at Crandon Park Tennis Center. The Japanese grabbed an immediate break in the first game, but could not sustain the lead. Djokovic would break right back and eventually claimed the opener after securing another break in the eighth game and consolidating with a hold to love. In the second set, only one break was needed, as the Serb raced to a 2-0 lead and never looked back. He would secure the victory on his third match point after one hour and 26 minutes.
PNo aces were struck during the blustery two-set affair, with Nishikori rattled by the wind and Djokovic’s attacking display. The World No. 1 fired 14 winners and benefited from 29 unforced errors by his sixth-seeded opponent.
Djokovic completed back-to-back three-peats at the March Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. He previous lifted the trophy in South Florida in 2007, ’11, ’12, ’14 and ’15.
“It was a really tough one,” Nishikori said. “He has great defence, so it’s tough to break his game. And it was windy. So I couldn’t really be too aggressive because the ball was moving and it was tough to do that. He was very patient and he didn’t miss. It’s always so tough to play Novak.”