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Djokovic breaks Isner to set up final against Murray


Djokovic breaks Isner to set up final against Murray

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) – Two hours before the Miami Open tennis semi-final, Novak Djokovic practiced his returns in an empty stadium, the ball coming at him quickly because his hitting partner stood three feet inside the baseline to emulate big-serving John Isner.

The drill helped. Djokovic achieved a breakthrough service break against Isner and won Friday night, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

“He’s probably the best server we have in the game,” Djokovic said. “But I managed to get a lot of serves back. That was one of the keys in the match, making him play and getting into the rally and making him work extra.”

The No. 1-seeded Djokovic closed to within one win of his fifth Key Biscayne title. His opponent Sunday will be two-time champion Andy Murray, who defeated Tomas Berdych 6-4, 6-4.

Djokovic became the first player in the tournament to break Isner, and managed another break two games later. He actually outserved the 6-foot-10 American, totalling ten aces to nine for Isner, and never faced a break point.