ATP Tour

Nadal, Djokovic final in Miami

2014-03-29 08:16
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Miami - Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic reached the final of the Miami ATP Masters without lifting their racquets on Friday after their semi-final foes Tomas Berdych and Kei Nishikori withdrew.

The two semi-final walkovers were a first in ATP history, with Nishikori pulling out with a groin injury and Berdych felled by gastroenteritis.

"I ran into Cliff Buchholz, who was the tournament director before me for many, many years," tournament director Adam Barrett said.

"He looked at me and said, 'Adam, that's never happened before. I think you just set a record.'

"I said, 'Cliff, not a record I want to set.'"

The bizarre turn of events nevertheless produced a predictable pair of finalists in world number one Nadal and number two Djokovic.

Berdych, who received IV fluids in a futile attempt to be ready for his evening match against Nadal, was at a loss to explain how he became so ill.

"Last night was basically the same as every other night.

"I ended up in the same restaurant, everything was fine," he said.

"I woke up at 7:30 in the morning with pain in my stomach. I am disappointed about not getting a chance to play," he added.

Nishikori withdrew after attempting to warm up for his earlier match against Djokovic, saying the left groin injury hindered his movement too much to allow him to play.

The injury ended Nishikori's sparkling run at the hardcourt tournament - where he saved four match points en route to a fourth-round victory over world number five David Ferrer and then vanquished Swiss great Roger Federer in the quarter-finals.

"For me it was my biggest tournament in a couple of years, to reach a semi-final of a Masters," a dejected Nishikori said.

"It's really sad. I was really playing well."

Nadal, who has never lifted the Miami trophy, has three runner-up finishes on his resume, including a loss to Djokovic in a third-set tiebreaker in the 2011 title match, one of the three times Djokovic has won this title.

The pair will be meeting for the first time this season.

Nadal leads their career head-to-head 22-17, but Djokovic has won their last two encounters, in the finals in Beijing and at the ATP World Tour Finals.

Djokovic, who beat Federer for the Indian Wells Masters title two weeks ago, is bidding to complete the tough Indian Wells-Miami double for the second time after accomplishing the feat in 2011.

The Serbian received two free passes in his progress to the final.

He also advanced to the fourth round on a walkover after third-round opponent Florian Mayer withdrew from their third-round match with a groin injury.

"Well, it's not the first time it happens for me to have the opponent pulling out - maybe it's the first time I have twice in the same tournament," he said.

"But it is the way it is, and you kind of have to deal with that."

Djokovic said he practiced well on the stadium court on Friday and would just try to keep himself sharp until Sunday's final.

"I have won Indian Wells, which gave me a lot of confidence, played a lot of matches, put in a lot of hours on the practice court, and hopefully it will pay off."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

SA duo in for tough US Open

2014-08-22 17:40

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.