Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal met for the third time in the 2007 Miami quarterfinals. Nadal defeated Djokovic in their first two meetings and wished for more in Florida after winning Indian Wells. However, it was the Serbian’s turn to celebrate, who beat the Spaniard 6-3, 6-4 in his first win over the world number one.
2. 2. Novak defeated Rafa in one hour and 37 minutes, playing incredibly well on the second serve and taking 15 of 20 points. Djokovic turned down four of five break chances and kept the opponent under pressure. Unlike in Indian Wells, Rafa was unable to keep up with his opponent after the serve.
He struggled on the second serve and was broken three times out of the seven chances Novak was offered. They remained tied in the shortest rallies by as many as four strokes. Djokovic carved out victory in the midrange and subsequent rallies, hitting more winners than unforced errors.
The match started with three dominant sets by both. Djokovic hit the ground running and forced Nadal’s error to earn a break in the fourth game and open up a 3-1 lead. Rafa recovered the break in the next off a loose forehand from Novak and was back on the bright side.
Djokovic fixed his forehand in the next game and got another break after forcing Nadal’s error for the second break in a row and a 4-2 lead. Novak held the lead with a service winner in game seven and closed the set on his serve at 5-3 with a thrilling volley winner.
Rafa survived three break chances at 1-1 in the second set and hit a game-winning volley in the next to earn a break chance. Djokovic denied it with a powerful forehand and closed the score at 2-2 with another fine point into the net.
Djokovic is still the strongest
The debate over who will finish as the greatest tennis player of all time (GOAT) is «alive again» now that Novak Djokovic will be allowed to play again at the Australian Open, according to Mats Wilander.
“For the game, this is probably the biggest news since Covid-19 first hit, because we were locked in this race between the three greatest and best players of all time on the men’s side, with three different players. contrasting styles emerging at different times.
Roger pushing the envelope, Nadal pushing Roger and then Novak coming in to «crash the party». If Novak hadn’t been allowed [to play unvaccinated]the story of our game would have become completely irrelevant.
Grand Slam numbers would have become completely irrelevant if Novak couldn’t play anymore. For most people, I’m saying we’d really like to know who we can tag #1 of all time.»