There were times during the 2015 Miami Open when world #1 Novak Djokovic had to dig deep to find victory; when he was a point away from being down a set and two breaks to Alexandr Dolgopolov, when he was being pressed in the quarters by David Ferrer and when he dropped the second set in the final to Andy Murray. In each case, Nole found the answer, surviving and advancing to win his 5th Miami Open crown. I give Murray credit. He gave the top ranked player in the world all he could handle for two sets. But as has happened with more regularity, Novak has just had far more in the tank in the end as Andy wilted, getting closed out with a bagel set, 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-0. With the title, Djokovic becomes the first man to accomplish the Indian Wells-Miami triple double, winning both titles back to back three times. He is also only the second player to win the double in back to back years. The first was Roger Federer, whom Djokovic beat in the Indian Wells final this year. There was more history to come with his 51st ATP singles title as Nole tied Rafael Nadal for 6th all-time with 141 weeks at #1. Speaking of Nadal’s accomplishments, all that’s missing from Nole’s trophy case is the Roland Garros crown. So far, the biggest tournaments played in 2015 through today are the Australian Open, the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells and the Miami Open. Djokovic has won all three. If he breaks through and wins in Paris, this could very well end up being an historically great year.
Speaking of a player rewriting the record books, world #1 Serena Williams became only the fourth player to ever win the same event 8 times as she destroyed Carla Suarez Navarro in the women’s singles final, 6-2 6-0. However, while the championship match was a letdown competitively, don’t think Serena just waltzed her way through the draw to the title. She was pushed by Sabine Lisicki in the quarters and taken nearly to the brink by Simona Halep in the semis. With all due respect to Suarez Navarro, the real final was Serena vs Simona. Williams battled her nerves, a raucous pro-Simona crowd and a skilled, determined opponent before finally edging out the Romanian world #3, 6-2 4-6 7-5. Since the time when Justine Henin was in her prime and Venus was healthy, we’ve been looking for a player to truly press Serena. It appeared that Victoria Azarenka would be that player but Vika just can’t stay healthy and in playing shape. Serena has not lost a match on court in 2015. The last person to take the court and beat her was Simona Halep during the round robin stage of the 2014 WTA Finals in Singapore. Maybe Serena vs Simona is the match-up tennis fans should hope for in semis and finals going forward.
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1 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (won 7-6 (3) 4-6 6-0 vs 3 Andy Murray)
1 SERENA WILLIAMS (won 6-2 6-0 vs 12 Carla Suarez Navarro)