Djokovic beats Goffin to reach Miami Open final

Fri Apr 1, 2016 9:13pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a strong challenge from Belgium's David Goffin to reach the Miami Open final with a 7-6(5) 6-4 victory on Friday as he continued his pursuit of a fifth title in six years on Key Biscayne.

The Serbian world number one shrugged off a slow start in tough on-court conditions before hitting his stride, and sealed the win with a powerful first serve that forced a wayward Goffin return to end an encounter that lasted just over two hours.

Australian Open champion Djokovic improved his stellar record for the year to 27-1 and will next face Japan's Kei Nishikori, who ousted Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-5 in the second semi-final.

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.

"It was windy, it was humid, it was warm," Djokovic told reporters. "It was like everything was thrown out there.

"And to overcome those obstacles and conditions was something that I'm proud of. I managed to stay tough in the right moments."

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."

With Goffin initially playing much steadier from the baseline in the Miami heat, Djokovic came under intense early pressure and saved three break points in the opening game before holding serve.   Continued...

 
Apr 1, 2016; Key Biscayne, FL, USA; Novak Djokovic celebrates after match point against David Goffin (not pictured) during a men's singles semifinal on day twelve of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports