ATP Miami Sunday results
SONY ERICSSON OPEN
US$3,450,000 ATP Masters Series Tournament
Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
March 21-April 1, 2007
RESULTS – SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2007
Singles – Final
N Djokovic (SRB) d [Q]G Canas (ARG) 63 62 64
Serb teenager Novak Djokovic became the youngest champion in the 23-year history of the Sony Ericsson Open when he defeated Argentine qualifier Guillermo Canas 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 to win his first ATP Masters Series title Sunday.
A record 14,593 fans watched the final, boosting the tournament's total attendance to a record 288,025.
Djokovic saved all five break points he faced in the final and held serve 59 of 60 service games through the tournament, including his last 28 service games.
Djokovic, 19 years and 10 months, will move from No. 10 to a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 7 Monday following an outstanding four-week period which also saw him reach the final of the Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells.
Djokovic is the fifth teenager to claim an ATP Masters Series title and is one month younger than Andre Agassi was when the American won the first of his six Sony Ericsson Open titles in 1990.
Djokovic became just the second player in tournament history to win the title without dropping a set. (Ivan Lendl did so in 1989 - 18-0 in sets in an all best-of-five format - but had a walkover in the final.)
By winning Sunday's final Djokovic moved into outright first place in the list of most match wins in 2007 (24-5), breaking a tie with Andy Murray (23-5), whom he defeated 6-1, 6-0 in the semifinals.
The defining moment of the match came in the middle of the second set. Djokovic saved three break points in an eight-deuce, 20-minute game and then followed up by breaking Canas to love to take a 5-2 lead. Early in the 3-2 game on Djokovic's serve Canas appeared to have reclaimed a break of serve when a Djokovic down-the-line forehand was called wide. But Djokovic challenged the call and the official review showed that the ball had grazed the outside of the line by the barest of margins.
As expected, the match was a battle of Djokovic's rich shotmaking variety and ability to hit winners from both wings against Canas's dogged retrieving. Djokovic already appeared to have the edge before Canas tweaked his left hamstring in the first set. Canas, who had played two qualifying and six main draw matches to reach the final, received treatment on his hamstring in the third set.
Djokovic claimed his second title of the year (Adelaide) and the fourth of his career.
Earlier this week Djokovic was named 2006 ATP Most Improved Player after rising to No. 16 in 2006 from No. 83 to 2005.
Canas was the first qualifier in tournament history to reach the final. Despite today's loss the Buenos Aires native is off to a career-best 17-5 start this season (8-2 on hard), having captured his seventh career ATP title on clay in Costa do Sauipe, Brazil in February (d. Ferrero).
Canas defeated ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer for the second time in two tournaments en route to the final. He is 5-1 against Top 10 opponents in 2007 following his loss to Djokovic.
His ATP Ranking, which was at No. 143 at the end of last season and No. 55 at the beginning of the tournament, will climb to around No. 31 by reaching the final.
WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID
Djokovic: "Every time you win something or you are the youngest player or you make any record, I mean, it certainly feels great. It means that your name is in the history of the sport. I am very proud of that. I know that I worked hard throughout all my career to reach this point, and I hope that this is just the beginning of a long career."
On the dramatic 20-minute sixth game of the second set: "It was probably a turning point. You always have the turning points in every match. It just depends how you deal with them. It's very important to stay very calm and mentally strong. I managed to do that.
"I managed to hold my serve. I wasn't able to serve 100% because the sun was going straight in my eyes, and I really had difficult times with this one side and with a little bit of wind. But in the end, you know, I managed to be stronger mentally, hit some good shots and just patient play, just stay into the match. Afterwards, I made another break, and it gave me a big advantage to be two sets up, you know, in the finals. It's a big advantage."
On whether he feels his game is at the level of Federer and Nadal: "Well, I was always trying to compare myself to the best players in the world, because that's what I want to be one day. Right now I feel like probably for the first time in my career that I am on that level, that I deserve to be one of the three best players in the world right now. I think I proved with the win over Nadal this tournament. Of course, I still didn't win against Roger, but I hope that moment will come as well."
Canas: "I'm very happy I'm this far in the tournament. I think today I played a good match, and I think today I do everything I can to try to win. I think Novak played very well and just played better than me. I had a few chances, not a lot, but a few, and he played very well that important moment. For that I think I don't have any set or any chance to do hard work.
"It's important to be here today because after the suspension, and I start six months ago, and to be in the top level for the final for me is very important. It's very important for myself to prove I'm again in the top level. It's very important for my game to get more confidence. And for the rest of the year, I think it is going to give me a lot of energy to continue to go to my goal. And now I'm very close to my goal. In the beginning of the season, it was to finish Top 20. I'm very, very close. I'm trying to do it as soon as possible."
On his hamstring injury: "After nine matches, all my body hurts. But I'm happy. No, really, I have a little bit of pain in my legs. It was in the end of the first set, but just sometimes when I have some movements, I feel it. But I think they're going to be good for like two or three days recovery, and they're going to be good."
TEENAGERS IN MIAMI FINALS – Djokovic is the third teenager in the tournament’s 23-year history to reach the final.
2007 – Novak Djokovic (19) def. Guillermo Canas
2005 – Rafael Nadal (18) lost to Roger Federer
1990 – Andre Agassi (19) def. Stefan Edberg
2007 ATP MATCH WINS LEADERS – Djokovic clinched his ATP-best 24th match win of the season:
1) Novak Djokovic 24-5
Andy Murray 23-5
3) Andy Roddick 21-5
Ivan Ljubicic 21-7
TEENAGERS (18) IN ATP TOP 10 RANKINGS
Since the inception of the ATP Rankings on Aug. 23, 1973, there have been 18 teenagers to rank in the Top 10. Half of them went on to rank No. 1. Djokovic is the latest addition to this impressive list.
Age Broke into Top 10 Career High
Krickstein, Aaron (USA) 17 years, 11 days 6 (February 26, 1990)
Chang, Michael (USA) 17 years, 3 months 2 (September 9, 1996)
Becker, Boris (GER) 17 years, 7 months 1 (January 28, 1991)
Wilander, Mats (SWE) 17 years, 10 months 1 (September 12, 1988)
Borg, Bjorn (SWE) 17 years, 11 months 1 (August 23, 1977)
Agassi, Andre (USA) 18 years, 1 month 1 (April 10, 1995)
Medvedev, Andrei (UKR) 18 years, 9 months 4 (May 16, 1994)
Nadal, Rafael (ESP) 18 years, 10 months 2 (July 25, 2005)
Arias, Jimmy (USA) 18 years, 11 months 5 (June 25, 1984)
Ivanisevic, Goran (CRO) 19 years, 11 days 2 (July 4, 1994)
Sampras, Pete (USA) 19 years, 29 days 1 (April 12, 1993)
Edberg, Stefan (SWE) 19 years, 1 month 1 (August 13, 1990)
Hewitt, Lleyton (AUS) 19 years, 2 months 1 (November 19, 2001)
Cash, Pat (AUS) 19 years, 3 months 4 (May 9, 1988)
Carlsson, Kent (SWE) 19 years, 5 months 6 (September 19, 1988
McEnroe, John (USA) 19 years, 7 months 1 (March 3, 1980)
Djokovic, Novak (SRB) 19 years, 9 months 7 (April 2, 2007)
Roddick, Andy (USA) 19 years, 11 months 1 (November 3, 2003)