Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Djokovic reaches quarterfinals at Miami Open

Djokovic reaches quarterfinals at Miami Open

Novak Djokovic reached the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Dominic Thiem.

Djokovic will meet Tomas Berdych, who beat Richard Gasquet, in the Miami Open semifinals.

"It was far from easy," said Djokovic. "I struggled a lot."

Djokovic moved to 25-1 on the year, 27-1 in his past 28 matches on Key Biscayne. The Serbian star also moved a step closer to becoming the tournament's first back-to-back-to-back winner since Andre Agassi in 2001, 2002 and 2003. He fended off 14 of the 15 break points he faced and hasn't dropped a set so far in the tournament.

Thiem was no pushover, and seemed the farthest thing from intimidated.

He cranked his serve up to 141 mph, recorded 11 of the match's first 16 winners and twice got games on Djokovic's serve to last 10 minutes before the world No. 1 would ultimately prevail.

Perhaps it shouldn't have been surprising, since he and Djokovic came into the day leading the tour with 24 wins apiece this year.

"With one of 15 break points, you cannot beat anyone, probably," Thiem said. "For sure, not Djokovic."

Thiem nearly broke Djokovic to get to 5-4 in the first, before a review showed that the backhand that looked like a winner actually sailed a tad long. Djokovic hopped from his seat - he was already in changeover mode - and took advantage, winning to finish off the opening set. He double-faulted to give Thiem a break and knot the second set at 3-3, but broke right back and eventually closed out the win.

"He's still very young," Djokovic said of Thiem. "He's been playing some of his best tennis the last couple of months. We'll definitely see a lot of him in the future."


Photo by AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee