Djokovic eases past Monaco to set up final clash with Murray in Miami
07:52 GMT, 31 March 2012
Defending champion Novak Djokovic claimed a 6-0 7-6 (7/5) win over Argentina's Juan Monaco to book his place in the Sony Ericsson Open final against Andy Murray.
In contrast to Murray, who advanced without playing a shot as Rafael Nadal withdrew through injury, what looked like being a simple outing for Djokovic turned into something more taxing as Monaco battled back in the second set.
Indeed, there were echoes of his match against David Ferrer for the Serbian.
Final fling: Novak Djokovic celebrates his win over Juan Monaco in Miami
The first set could barely have been simpler for Djokovic as he dropped only eight points.
And though Monaco upped his game in the second set, making life uncomfortable for the top seed, Djokovic seemed to be on his way to a straightforward win as he served for the match at 5-4.
But, just as Ferrer did, Monaco broke back and took the set into a tie-break.
It only delayed the inevitable, though, as the defending champion sealed his progress on his second match point.
'As I did yesterday in the quarter-finals, I started very strong, just going for the shots, being very aggressive,' Djokovic told www.atptour.com. 'Then I just wasn't able to close it out.
Down and out: Monaco fought bravely in the second set against Djokovic
'It was a very similar match to the one against Ferrer.
'It was [an] exciting match I think for us to play and for the crowd. I didn't expect an easy match and [I'm] just happy to be through.'
Murray will get the chance to try out some of those tactics as he faces Djokovic for the third time this season in Sunday's final.
Djokovic beat the Scot in five sets in the Australian Open semi-final on his way to claiming the Melbourne crown, but Murray got his revenge at the same stage in Dubai.