masters1Kdjokovic_fish

Two quite similar ‘Masters 1000’ finals between Djokovic & Fish (the Serb won each of them by a 9-point margin of total points), played within more than three years at various stages of their careers: in 2008 Djokovic [3] was fresh after claiming his first Grand Slam title, trying to confirm his aspirations to be the best in the world while Fish [98] reminded of himself after three disappointing seasons (2005-07); in 2011 situation looked different for them both – Djokovic [1] seemed almost invincible (only one defeat in the first half of the season!) while Fish [8] was enjoying the best period in his career – after reaching quarter-final at Wimbledon, he advanced to three consecutive finals in North America on hardcourts (Atlanta, Los Angeles, Montreal) winning the first of them…
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Fish didn’t play poorly in the first hour of their Indian Wells final, but almost lost it after one-sided scoreline – Djokovic led 6-2 *4:2, then at 5:4 (30/0) Fish was a few centimetres from facing a triple match point as he hit a BH winner on the baseline, and the set turned into his favour. He almost won four games in a row – he led 40/0 on return in the opening game of the decider, but Djokovic kept composure – fought the break points off with three consecutive aces (!) and made a decisive break in the following game.

Points won by each set: | 31-23, 33-36, 26-22 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
32 % Djokovic – 27 of 84
28 % Fish – 25 of 87

Djokovic’s route to his 9th title:
2 Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-6(3)
3 Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-2
4 Guillermo Canas 6-2, 6-3
Q Stan Wawrinka 7-6(5), 6-2
S Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2
W Mardy Fish 6-2, 5-7, 6-3

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At the Canadian Open they were less chubby than three years before in California, and Fish had as a coach alongside someone else (David Nainkin replaced Kelly Jones – both former players). Djokovic lost just two games in the opener again, but the progress of the 2nd set was completely different: the American managed to break twice, holding four times with relative ease. The Serb got the decisive break at ‘love’ in the 5th game of the final set (10-point winning streak in total), and serving for the championship he converted his fourth match point. It was fifth and last big final in Fish’s career – he lost them all, every time succumbing in the deciding set…

Points won by each set: | 31-22, 28-36, 35-27 |
Points won directly behind the serve:
22 % Djokovic – 22 of 96
30 % Fish – 25 of 83

Djokovic’s route to his 27th title:
2 Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-1
3 Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-2
Q Gael Monfils 6-2, 6-1
S Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 3-0 ret.
W Mardy Fish 6-2, 3-6, 6-4

2008 Indian Wells: Djokovic d. Fish 6-2, 5-7, 6-3… 2 hours 5 minutes… 8 breaks of serve
2011 Montreal: Djokovic d. Fish 6-2, 3-6, 6-4… 2 hours 23 minutes… 5 breaks of serve

They played against each other in the Hopman Cup final 2008, and Djokovic won in three sets as well (6-2, 6-7, 7-6), but the Americans took the title winning the decisive mixed doubles

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