MIAMI: World number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic will face Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the ATP and WTA Miami Open final after straight-set triumphs on Friday (Saturday in Manila) in which both were tested.
Djokovic, an 11-time Grand Slam champion whose three titles this year include the Australian Open, downed Belgian 15th seed David Goffin 7-6 (5), 6-4.
The 28-year-old Serbian will try to match the career record of six Miami crowns won by Andre Agassi by capturing his third consecutive title at the hardcourt event.
“It’s a privilege just to be mentioned alongside Andre Agassi,” Djokovic said.
Sixth seed Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, downed Australian 24th seed Nick Kyrgios 6-3, 7-5.
“First Miami final, that makes me very happy,” Nishikori said.
Djokovic has a 6-2 career edge over Nishikori, including five wins in a row, most recently in this year’s Australian Open quarter-finals.
“It’s going to be tough for sure. He has been playing well,” Nishikori said. “I played him in Australia. I will try to come up with something better.”
Djokovic won his 15th consecutive Miami match and the 29th of his past 30, but only after winning a tense tiebreaker and taking the lone break of the second set, prompting a post-match kissing of the court.
Djokovic improved to 27-1 on the season, which has included his 11th career Grand Slam title and crowns at Doha and Indian Wells.
He could claim the Miami-Indian Wells double for the third year in a row and his 63rd career title on Sunday.