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Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Sunday, 3 April 2011 18:03 UK

Djokovic v Nadal as it happened


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By Piers Newbery

2145: "That was one of the greatest finals I ever played in," says Djokovic, and it would hard to disagree. A brilliant match and the Serbian must have his sights set on the number one spot now. However, the biggest test in tennis awaits with the imminent clay-court season, during which Nadal won absolutely everything last year. We will return then, and check back on the BBC Sport website later for reaction to tonight's match. And thanks for your input, entertaining as ever.

Aaron Jonathan Woodon on Twitter: "The real winner today has been tennis as a sport both Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal deserve a lot of credit for a great final."

Naveed Yousafi on Twitter: "Well done Nole Djokovic. Unbeaten this year, and what a beast of a player he has been this year.Roger, Rafa,he is coming for you."

Novak Djokovic
Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-7 (4-7) Djokovic
Nadal fails to make the return and Djokovic finds a winner to earn four match points at 6-2... he misses with the return on the first, Nadal plays a nerveless volley on the second, but Djokovic hits a big serve and a forehand winner! Game, set, match to the world number two in the rankings but very much the world number one in 2011 - 24-0 and counting, incredible...


Britain's no3 Heather Watson on Twitter: "Djok and Rafa! Holy cow this is nuts!!"

Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-6 (2-4) Djokovic
The tie-break opens with five successive points against serve, Nadal hitting a brutal cross-court backhand to move 2-1 up and Djokovic coming back with some monstrous forehands for 2-2. A Nadal double fault edges Djokovic ahead and he consolidates the advantage to go to the changeover 4-2 in front.

Britain's no4 Katie O'Brien on Twitter: "This Djokovic-Nadal final is stopping me from going home & cooking dinner...I'm starving! It's never ending this. Great match though."

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-6 Djokovic
Big cheers all around the stadium as Djokovic prepares to serve to stay in the match once again, and they've certainly got their money's worth today. Djokovic cracks a forehand winner before catching the net with a mid-court backhand and it's 15-15. Nadal then leans into a belter of a cross-court backhand winner and he's two points away. Djokovic will not to be seen off that easily though and plays quite brilliantly to dig himself out of trouble and force the tie-break.

Nadal 6-4 3-6 6-5 Djokovic *
Djokovic has a bit of a moan after a Hawkeye challenge suggests his return went about three feet long, probably embarrassed, and Nadal grabs an unexpectedly quick love hold.

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 5-5 Djokovic
Not sure about that Dave, too much raving? Nadal fires a monumental forehand into the corner, Djokovic comes straight back with a couple of sharp volleys. It's been a lesson to the rest of the tour how successful NoDjo has been when moving forward. The Serbian holds and his team looked suitably pumped in the stands.

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From Dave the Rave, Coventry, via text: "Rafa is making Novak run around like a headless chicken. The big man is starting to look tired."

Nadal 6-4 3-6 5-4 Djokovic *
Nadal creaks a little with a double fault to make it 30-30 but Djokovic lets him off the hook by finding the net twice in succession. I demand a final set tie-break, can someone pass that message along?

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 4-4 Djokovic
We get a big fist pump from Rafa when he wins the opening point of the game after a dipping shot to Djoko's feet sets up a winning forehand. But every time one man looks to be on a roll today, the other comes straight back, and Djokovic wins the next three points before smacking a forehand winner down the line.

5 live's Jonathan Overend on Twitter in Miami: "Bloke in a hat screaming gets told to 'keep it down'. 'This isn't the ballet, it's a tennis match!' he shouts back... get in..."

Nadal 6-4 3-6 4-3 Djokovic *
Truly comforting. Nadal makes a blistering forehand winner down the line for 30-15 and follows it up with two service winners. No drama.

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 3-3 Djokovic
Djokovic holds relatively easily, despite one Nadal backhand arrowed down the line, and the crowd are well and truly into this one. I'm going for a comfort break, nobody move.

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From Darrell, Reading, via text: "It might sound corny, but what we are watching here, could potentially be one of the greatest sports rivalrys ever seen in sport, let alone tennis! I wonder what a certain Mr Murray is thinking whilst watching this!"

Nadal 6-4 3-6 3-2 Djokovic *
Nadal opens with a double fault and then makes an error off the ground for 0-30. The two men then absolutely pummel each other with huge groundstrokes before Nadal cracks a forehand winner down the line. Djokovic balloons a forehand well over the baseline for 30-30 and gets his feet in a tangle on the next two returns. Nadal holds.

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 2-2 Djokovic
This one is ebbing and flowing like, I don't know........ the tide! This time it's Nadal who gets a glimpse at a break at 0-30, only for Djokovic to come up with the most extraordinary angled volley that even Nadal cannot reach, despite hurtling towards it as though his life depended on it. Djokovic then fires a breathtaking wrong-footing backhand for 30-30, Nadal nets a backhand and Nole wraps up a terrific game. Anyone fancy five sets?

Nadal 6-4 3-6 2-1 Djokovic *
Nadal pounds away at 15-15 with little to show for it in the face of Djokovic's impregnable defence and ends by hitting a forehand into the net, but the Spaniard battles back to game point and takes it with a smash. We get a fist pump, a "Vamos!" and clear evidence that the world number one isn't going anywhere just yet.

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 1-1 Djokovic
Djoko flops a drop shot into the net on the opening point but makes a successful trip to the net, not for the first time today, and repeats the trick to move 40-15 up as Nadal's groundstrokes drop too short. It's another game to the Serbian, who remains the aggressor.

5 live's Jonathan Overend on Twitter in Miami: "Nadal looks heavy legged. That's twice he's been hunched over after points. Djokovic is draining him. I'm edging back towards Novak here..."

Nadal 6-4 3-6 1-0 Djokovic *
Nadal has an understandably concerned look on his face as he slips 0-30 down, but Djokovic fails to return a decent serve down the middle. Game point follows for Nadal and the Spaniard appears to have lost it when it's called long, but Hawkeye says he caught the line and, after a brief chat with the umpire, the point is replayed. Djokovic then wins a pulsating rally to force deuce, but Nadal edges through despite being very much on the back foot.

* Nadal 6-4 3-6 Djokovic
There is not the merest hint of a wobble from Djokovic as he serves out the set to love with an ace, and he has to be the favourite going into the decider.

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From Rose, Menston, via text: "This is djokovic's year no doubt. His transition from last year is staggering. Who would have thought his serve would become such a weapon!"

From anon via text: "I really don't want this to be a repeat of the Indian Wells final, Djokovic is not unbeatable, come on Rafa!"

Nadal 6-4 3-5 Djokovic *
Nadal is in control of this service game at 40-15 but Djokovic keeps him honest with one blistering forehand return that might well have left a scorch mark. The world number one takes the game however, huge game coming up.

* Nadal 6-4 2-5 Djokovic
Djokovic looks to be in trouble at 15-30, but this is Djokovic version .11 and he fires down two big serves and angles away a volley to consolidate his break once again.

A celeb has been spotted
1951: Nadal's compatriot and fellow Real Madrid fan, golfer Sergio Garcia, is in the crowd. That just about qualifies for a celebrity graphic but I'd like to think there's a bona fide star or two in attendance today. Anyone?

Stevie Moffat on Twitter: "Nadal is defending 5000 points on clay to Djokos 900. So he could do with a win tonight to keep his large gap."

Nadal 6-4 2-4 Djokovic *
Djokovic absolutely hammers a couple from the baseline to move 0-30 clear and it's unusual to see Nadal being dictated to so much. Two points later and Nole draws Nadal in with a drop shot before lifting an even better backhand lob over his opponent. Two break points... "Oh my Gaaawwwdd!!!" hollers Djokovic after missing on the first, and Nadal finds a service winner on the second. Djokovic hits back with a searing cross-court backhand and it's break point three... but Nadal follows up a first serve with a smash for deuce and comes through a tough game.

* Nadal 6-4 1-4 Djokovic
I was expecting Nadal to have a run at this service game after finally holding one of his own, but Djokovic is having none of it, sealing a love game with a measured lob into the wind. Rafa is halfway back to his chair before it bounces.

Nadal 6-4 1-3 Djokovic *
A low buzz of surprise goes around the stadium when Nadal double faults to make it 30-30, but Djokovic goes wide with a backhand and has a little wail in anguish. The racquet remains in one piece though. A successful Hawkeye challenge from Djokovic extends the game for a few moments but Nadal seals it with a swinging serve out wide.

From anon via text: "The joker to win in 3! And then go on to smash Mac's record!"

Someone is having a tantrum
* Nadal 6-4 0-3 Djokovic
Djokovic moves forward when under pressure at 30-30 and Nadal fails to make the backhand pass down the line. Djokovic then pulls the 457th shot of the day into the tramlines for deuce and another error offers Nadal break point, prompting a Safinesque racquet smash. So good, he needs another bat. A Djokovic big serve averts the danger and he holds.

Nadal 6-4 0-2 Djokovic *
Two weeks ago it was at about this point in the Indian Wells final that I suggested it looked like being Nadal's day, so I won't be doing that again. Djokovic certainly has it in him to come back but he was helped by Nadal completely losing his first serve last time, and he gets another helping hand this time as the Spaniard hooks a forehand well wide on break point. Djokovic has now won five of the last six games. I'm just saying....

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From Graeme, Wetherby, via text: "Shaping up to be a classic. Piers. Do you think Djokovic has it in him to come back from 1 set down?"

* Nadal 6-4 0-1 Djokovic
Djokovic chases down an excellent drop shot and manages to create a brilliant winner, but looks to have suffered in the process as he gets up gingerly after lunging for the ball. He's made of stern stuff though and opens the set with a hold.

Nadal 6-4 Djokovic *
A tense, tight game is in the balance at 30-30 when Djokovic dumps a return into the net, and he thinks about smashing his racquet in frustration but decides against it. Set point to Nadal... and a bit of slice gets him there after 56 minutes of scrappy but intriguing stuff.

Georgina_Hughes on Twitter: "maybe Rafas new tshirt is the problem for this Lil dip....perhaps he should change shirts again ;-)"

Ross Mounsey on Twitter: "Chart update: Adele No. 4 in singles but still No. 1 in album chart so still have no idea who'll win."

* Nadal 5-4 Djokovic
Interesting. Nadal made a flying start against Djokovic two weeks ago before the Serbian overhauled him, and Nole is on the comeback trail again. A net cord helps him to 40-0 before Rafa pegs him back to deuce, but Djokovic takes it with a heavy backhand and cuts the deficit to one game. And thanks for the offers of food, if someone could invent a way of emailing me cheesecake/flapjacks/biscuits, I'd really appreciate it.

Nadal 5-3 Djokovic *
Nadal starts the game solidly enough but then the wild groundstrokes return - we've seen some howlers from both men today - and Djokovic gets his fifth break point of the day. And this time it's Nadal who breaks down in the baseline exchange to give Djokovic the boost of a service break, and a chink of light in this set.

* Nadal 5-2 Djokovic
Djokovic enjoys a much-needed love service game and he's looked a little brighter in the last couple of minutes. He'll need to be with a double break to recover. I once refused to play because of the wind, in my youth, but then we're talking about a very high-precision game there.

Nadal 5-1 Djokovic *
Nadal double-faults to fall 0-30 down but Djokovic again fails to make a forehand after working the opening, before dragging a backhand into the net. The ball is proving pretty hard to track for both men in the gusty conditions and Nadal then nets a forehand for 30-40. Break point to Djokovic... but he goes long and Nadal holds.

* Nadal 4-1 Djokovic
Things are looking very dicey for Djokovic at 15-30 and he snatches at a very optimistic attempt at a forehand up the line, which catches the tape. Two more break points for Nadal.... and Djokovic slaps another forehand into the tramlines as the wind makes Nadal's heavy topspin even tougher to handle.

Ross Mounsey on Twitter: "Will base my prediction upon whether Adele is still no. 1. The domination of her and Djoko seem to go hand-in-hand."

Nadal 3-1 Djokovic *
Any thoughts that Djokovic might have run out of steam are shelved for the moment as he wallops a forehand past Nadal for 0-30, and the Spaniard misfires with a forehand of his own moments later for 15-40 and two break points.... Djoko misses with a backhand on the first, and Nadal then plays an incredible rally that ends with a forehand whipped off his hips into the corner. Break point number three arrives... but Djokovic gets jammed up on a forehand and finds the net. Nadal grabs a vital hold. Looks pretty gusty out there, by the way - not helping either man.

* Nadal 2-1 Djokovic
I've no idea who most people want to win but, from what I've seen, the majority think Nadal will end Djokovic's run today, and he's made a good start. Two wayward Djokovic forehands help Nadal to 15-40 and two break points... and a fizzing backhand sees Nadal convert the second.

Women's champion Victoria Azarenka on Twitter: "At the stadium watching finals Rafa and Novak! Should be an amazing match! Brilliant players! Who u guys support? I can't decide."

Nadal 1-1 Djokovic *
Nadal seems to have rediscovered the fearsome serving this week that helped him win the US Open last year, and a thumping ace takes him to 30-15, but a forehand into the net makes it 30-30 and it's a half-chance for Djokovic. The Serbian misses with a return though, and a backhand into the net gives the Spaniard the game.

* Nadal 0-1 Djokovic
Djokovic breezes through a love hold in his opening service game and looks all business as he marches back to the chair. This time last year, his serve was all over the shop. Twelve months on and he hasn't been broken all week.
denotes NEXT to serve

1808: The players are out on court, Rafa in the bright green and yellow outfit he's been wearing all week in Miami, Nole sticking with the all white topped off by a cap. Djokovic to serve...

5 live's Jonathan Overend on Twitter in Miami: "Last season Djok had one 6-0 set in 79 matches. This year, he has had five in his last 10 matches."

1803: Nadal leads their head-to-head 16-8 but lost in three sets when the pair met in the Indian Wells final a fortnight ago, and he trails the Serbian 8-5 on hard courts. Djokovic has already had the third-best start to a year (23-0) in the last 30 years, and is chasing down two legends in Ivan Lendl (25-0, 1986) and John McEnroe (39-0, 1984). SuperMac was two sets up in his 40th match too, before losing the French Open final to Lendl. I imagine that one stung a bit.

The sun is out
Sony Ericsson Open on Twitter: "Forecast for today's men's final...Sunny with temps around 81 degrees. Winds out of the ENE at 10 mph. Should be a beautiful day!"

1755: Electric tennis! That's what we're after this evening as the two best players in the world face each other in the final of what those in Key Biscayne, at least, describe as 'the fifth major'. Which is probably about as meaningful as being 'the fifth Beatle' - you either are or you aren't, surely - but it's certainly a big title and there's plenty on the line for both men. Djokovic is unbeaten in all 23 matches he has played this year (and 25 in total), Nadal is looking to become the first Spaniard to win this event and confirm his status as the numero uno heading into the clay-court season. He tends to do quite well on clay.

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see also
Azarenka wins second Miami title
02 Apr 11 |  Tennis
Nadal books Djokovic Miami final
02 Apr 11 |  Tennis

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