World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is one win away from successfully defending his Sony Ericsson Open crown, after defeating 21st seed Juan Monaco 6-0, 7-6(5) in the semi-finals on Friday. In the final, Djokovic will square off against fourth-ranked Andy Murray for the third time at Crandon Park.
“As I did yesterday in the quarter-finals, I started very strong, just going for the shots, being very aggressive,” said Djokovic. “Then I just wasn’t able to close it out. 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.”
“I’ve had a lot of tough losses in my career,” said Murray. “To come back from them hasn’t always been that easy. I think it’s big for me that after Australia this year I’ve come back and had a win like tonight.“Hopefully that will set me up well for the year. Confidence in tennis and almost any individual sport is so important. A win like tonight will do that no harm; therefore, mentally I’m sure I’ll be stronger.”“Andy played a great match,” said Djokovic. “He was the better player today. He was serving really well. I made a lot of unforced errors when it was important. It’s been a great tournament here in Dubai. Look forward to Indian Wells, Miami, which are the next tournaments, next challenges. I think I have more than enough time to get ready for it.”