It wasn’t an impossible bet by any means that Djokovic could win both Indian Wells and Miami. He did so beating Roger Federer in a nail-biting Indian Wells final and Rafael Nadal in a not so nail-biting Miami final.
Yes, yesterdays final left me wanting something more, but Nadal looked sluggish and Djokovic played brilliantly and so it was rather quickly over 6-3 6-3, This must have been an anti-climax for tennis supporters who had looked forward to the final like a kid looks forward to Christmas eve. Especially after the semi-finals ended in two walk-overs (Nishikori with groin injury, Berdych with gastroenteritis). Everybody wanted a fight and a tough match, but you can’t really blame Djokovic for his spellbinding performance either, a performance that not even Nadal could fight back from.
Djokovic was a in supreme control from the start, directing the ball left, right and center and making Nadal run. Usually Nadal would run and get the ball back with interest, but this time many of his shots sailed long or hit the net. Initially I thought it was due to injury, but it could also just be Djokovic’s play or the fact that it wasn’t really Nadal’s day.
Nadal commented on the loss: “Today Novak played at very high level in my opinion and was better than me. I tried everything. I tried my best. Was not enough. The opponent was just better than me, and when the opponent is better, he’s better. That’s the sport. I need to work hard, to try to be in better shape for clay.
Djokovic was thrilled by his performance: “This tournament has been perfect from the beginning to the end. The matches that I have played I played really well, and I elevated my game as the tournament progressed. The best performance of the tournament came in the right moment on Sunday against the biggest rival.”
“I didn’t have any letdowns throughout the whole match. I was in a very high level: serve, backhand, crosscourt, forehand. I have done everything right, and I’m thrilled with my performance.”
So before we head into the clay-court season, let’s just say that Djokovic goes in as the regent of the hard courts, but when we enter the red dirt, there’s another king in rule.