5 Talking points ahead of Men’s Final: Miami Open

Published 04/03/2016, 5:06 AM EDT

The 2016 edition of the Miami open has produced some scintillating tennis. Novak Djokovic, the world no.1 and Kei Nishikori, the Japanese Warrior have made it to the final of this prestigious event.

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In this article we looks at the 5 talking points of the men’s final

Can Djokovic make it to 28?

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If Djokovic is able to win Sunday’s final, he would overtake the record of 27 Masters titles set by Rafael Nadal. This will certainly be on the mind of the Serbian. But take these records into consideration: The Serb has won the 55 of the last 57 matches at the Masters level and has reached the final of every Masters he has contested in the last year and a half.

Djokovic has a winning percentage of 69 in Masters final having won 27 and lost 12. But can the Serb hold his nerve to rack up his 28th win is the big question.

Will Nishikori end his 5 match losing streak to Nole?

The last 5 sets of Djokovic vs Nishikori read 6-1 6-1 6-3 6-2 6-4 in favour of the Serb. Nishikori hasn’t won a single match since their epic US Open 2014 semifinal which Kei won in 4 sets. In their Australian open quarterfinal meeting he was dismantled by the Serb. The first thing for Nishikori will be to take a set off the Serb and put him under pressure.

Will Djokovic bring his A game or his B game?

Novak has not been playing his best at the Miami open as of yet. Still he hasn’t lost a single set on the way to the final. If Novak could bring up his A game as he did in the semifinals of the Australian open against Roger Federer it would be curtains for Nishikori. But if he brings his B game as he did against Goffin, Nishikori will have a chance to upset the world no.1.

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Can Djokovic hit the backhand down the line consistently?

One of the indicators that Novak Djokovic has the confidence to take down his opponents is when he regularly strikes his favorite shot: the backhand down the line. Novak’s backhand is perhaps the best in the business but he has a tendency to go crosscourt under pressure. Can the Serb find his mark will be the question.

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Can Nishikori be the aggressor?
Against most players Nishikori may win the match staying behind the baseline at all points of time. But against the best retriever of the game it is merely impossible to execute this strategy with success. From the opening point Kei has to take the ball early and swing hard from both the flanks. It is also important that Kei serves a high percentage of first serves so that he can dominate play at least on serve.

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Chaitanya Batra

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