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PACIFIC LIFE OPEN 

$3,589,000 ATP Masters Series Tournament 

Indian Wells, California, USA

March 13-23, 2008

Surface: Hard

(- 7 hours GMT) 

 

RESULTS – SUNDAY, MARCH 23, 2008

 

Singles - Final

[3] N Djokovic (SRB) d M Fish (USA) 62 57 63

 

 

SINGLES FINAL – DJOKOVIC DEFEATS FISH TO CLINCH THIRD CAREER ATP MASTERS SERIES TITLE

  • Third seeded Serb Novak Djokovic captured his third career ATP Masters Series title as he defeated unseeded American Mardy Fish 6-2, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and four minutes in the Pacific Life Open men’s final, Sunday in Indian Wells.
  • World No. 3 Djokovic made it a clean sweep for 20-year-old Serbs with Ana Ivanovic winning the Pacific Life Open women’s title earlier in the day.
  • The decisive moment of the match proved to be the opening games of the third set. Djokovic rifled three straight aces with tournament ace leader Fish holding triple break point, and won the next two points to hold serve. He then took the lead for good in the next game with a winner clipping the baseline on his double break point.
  • Djokovic had been extended to a third set for the first time during the tournament when Fish came back from a 4-2 deficit in the second set. He broke the Serb in the seventh game and again to go up 6-5 before serving it out.
  • It is the first Pacific Life Open title for the Djokovic, who finished as runner-up to Rafael Nadal in last year’s final, and his third ATP Masters Series shield (3-1 in finals), adding to his wins last year in Miami and Montreal.
  • Djokovic, who won the Australian Open title in his 2008 opener, is the fifth player to win two titles on the ATP circuit this season (Almagro, Llodra, Murray, Roddick). He improves to a 17-3 season record and a 9-3 career record in finals.
  • With the title win, Djokovic moves within 425 points of No. 2 Rafael Nadal in the South African Airways ATP Rankings (from 850 coming into Indian Wells).
  • Fish had defeated five seeds en route to his second career ATP Masters Series final, including wins over three Top 10 players: No. 4 Nikolay Davydenko (3rd RD), No. 7 David Nalbandian (QF) and No. 1 Roger Federer (SF).
  • The 26-year-old had entered the tournament at No. 98 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, making him the fifth-lowest ranked player to reach an ATP Masters Series final. He is projected to climb to around No. 42 with his outstanding effort this past fortnight.
  • Fish was attempting to become the first American winner in Indian Wells since Andre Agassi defeated Pete Sampras for the title in 2001.
  • He now has a 13-6 season record and a 2-8 career mark in ATP finals. He won his last title in Houston in April 2006.

 

 

WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID

 

Djokovic: “It's been a dream start, of course. Before I started playing this season, I said that my two goals is to be consistent with the results, I reach the Masters and hopefully win one Grand Slam. I did all that in very, very small amount of time. But again, I don't want to stop here, even though I've been playing fantastic, and I'm lucky enough to have a lot of important tournaments on this surface, which suits me the best, and I just try. I'll try to keep going in Miami, and I'm defending champion there. But coming up from Indian Wells as tournament winner, it's much easier to play.”

 

On his second set struggles: “I knew before the match that he is a big server and he's going to go for the shots and I just need to calm down, be patient and wait for my chances, which I did well in the first set and start of the second, but then suddenly I was nervous in the moments when I needed to keep my focus and calm down, and of course the result was unforced errors which would be crucial for me throughout the match.”

 

On his three aces down triple break point: “That was a crucial moment and it was the turning point in the whole match.  If I didn't come up with the three aces, it could go either way.”

 

Fish: “I think one thing has to be stated that I did play about as well as I can and that yesterday, thinking about it more and more, I know I came in here and I was slightly subdued, probably because I just didn't really realize what had happened to get a few wins against players like that, and to play a match like today and be in there.”

 

“I had some tough times at the end of last year, in the summer of last year, and during grass court season, and I was playing injured and trying to get through it; wondering when I was going to get healthy again, feel better again. That's come this entire year, and hopefully it will continue.”

 

On whether he found himself this week: “I think that would be accurate. It would be really nice to take this momentum and take this confidence into next week, because next week is just as big of a week for me. I didn't play last year. I think I put myself in a nice position now around 40 in the world with not a match to defend until August 19th, which I checked.”


 

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