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Djokovic beats Nadal to win fourth career title

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

MIAMI,Florida - Novak Djokovic dominated in all phases of play to win his fourth career title at the Miami Masters 6-3 6-3 yesterday at the expense of top seed Rafael Nadal.

The Serb world No.2 finished in triumph on a challenging match point duel with a winning half-volley after 83 minutes to add 2014 Miami honours after claiming the title in 2007, 2011, 2012.

He and Spain's Nadal were playing for the 40th time, with the Serb winning his 18th in the series against 22 losses.

It was his third straight win over Nadal, who will now be ready to start on his beloved clay in a fortnight at Monte Carlo.

"It's been a fantastic tournament," said the winner of an 18th Masters Cup shield. "I played a great match from start to finish.

"It's always a challenge to beat Rafa and pleasure to play him, it was a good week for me," Djokovic said.

"We come to America to play for four weeks and we have time to prepare for each match and for recovery. Maybe that's why I've done well this month. Hardcourt has always been my preferred surface," he added.

"In 2007 I won my first big title here. Today I didn't give him a chance to get back into the match, I'm very satisfied with my game."

Djokovic become only the second man to win the March Masters pair (his first was in 2011) twice after Roger Federer (2005-06).

Nadal was accepting of his loss but said: "I don't think I've lost four finals at any other event without winning a title. But the energy and passion for the game here is unforgettable. The Latin crowd is really for me."

Djokovic heads back to Europe after winning 20 straight matches at the Masters 1000 level (four titles in a row) with a chance to add to that list at Monte Carlo which opens the European pre-French Open run at mid-month.

Djokovic and Nadal needed seven minutes to complete the first game, but the pace began to quicken slightly after Djokovic took the 1-0 lead.

Nadal answered with a love game as the set settled in. Djokovic grabbed the first small opening in the sixth game and took a break for 4-2 as Nadal sent a forehand out.

Djokovic finished off the set three games later, earning three set points with an untouchable forehand to the corner. Nadal salvaged the first set-winner from a Djokovic error but then sent a return well wide after 39 minutes.

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