March 31, 2014
Wow! Did that really happen? Novak Djokovic has found a frightening new level
Now, as the European clay awaits, the big question is this: can Novak finally win the French Open? Can Rafa really stop him this time? The scoreline in Miami was a straightforward 6-3, 6-3. But even that didn’t tell the full story. The match felt more like a 6-0 6-0, such was Novak’s dominance.
Sometimes Djokovic produced second serves more dangerous than Nadal’s first serves.
Anything Rafa threw at Novak came back with interest. Nadal scurried desperately along the baseline, but he was out-gunned and out-thought. Djokovic commanded throughout and triumphed with ease. No wonder Rafa was left shaking his head.
‘Amazing,’ the Spaniard acknowledged afterwards.
‘Winning Indian Wells and then Miami is very difficult to do. Well done.’
Roger Federer is the only other player to have achieved that notable double.
Djokovic knows he has found a new level, with tennis sent down from the sporting gods. ‘I played a great match from start to end, everything was working really well. I’m thrilled with my performance, overwhelmed. He had a hard time reading my serve.’ Asked if he had broken Rafa’s spirit, Novak agreed. ‘Of course. When you are a set and a break down, it affects your confidence.’
There was a glint in Novak’s eye when he concluded his post-match speech with the words: ‘Good luck for the rest of the season, Rafa.’ That almost sounded like a threat. If Djokovic can reproduce anything like this kind of form on clay, Rafa may not have it all his own way when it comes to Roland Garros.
Certainly what the tennis world just witnessed in Miami had to be seen to be believed. Just breathtaking.