The Miami Open wrapped up the semifinal portion of the tournament on Friday with two clashes in the men's singles draw.
The final for the women's draw was set in stone Thursday as Serena Williams defeated Simona Halep and Carla Suarez Navarro upset Andrea Petkovic.
Over on the men's side, Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych, Novak Djokovic and John Isner were all vying for a spot in the final. Murray met Berdych to start off the day, and the festivities wrapped up with Djokovic and Isner.
Plenty of American fans will have watched with a close eye to see whether Isner could topple the best player in the world.
Here's a look at how Friday's action unfolded.
|Men's Singles||No. 3 Andy Murray vs. No. 8 Tomas Berdych||Murray 6-4, 6-4|
|Men's Singles||No. 1 Novak Djokovic vs. No. 22 John Isner||Djokovic 7-6(3), 6-2|
Murray only encountered a few obstacles as he dispatched Berdych in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, in Friday's first of two men's singles semifinals.
Although Murray's first serve was on point throughout the match, he struggled quite a bit on his second serve. He dropped only eight of his 40 first-service points over the course of the two sets. Conversely, he won only six of his 17 second-service points—including 1-of-6 in the first set.
After the match, Murray acknowledged that his second-serve improvement in the second set—6-of-11 second-serve points won—helped secure the victory.
"I did most things well; there's not a lot I could complain about," he said, per Sky Sports. "My second serve was much better in the second set, I served well on the big points and got a lot of free points behind my serve."
Murray's strong serve allowed him to negate some of Berdych's prodigious power. The 29-year-old Czech can be extremely tough to beat when he's able to dictate the pace of the match and punish his opponent from the baseline.
Murray prevented that from happening and advanced to the final as a result. BBC 5 Live's David Law felt it was a vintage performance from the 27-year-old:
Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times noted how Murray also ended his ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final drought:
With Murray advancing to the final, the focus then shifted to whether tennis fans would get another major clash between him and Djokovic. They're two of the best players in the world, so it would only be appropriate for them to add another chapter to their rivalry in Miami.
Djokovic obliged with a straight-sets, 7-6(3), 6-2, victory over Isner.
Isner certainly made things interesting in the first set. He picked up eight aces and won 73 percent of his first-service points. Although the 29-year-old American couldn't do much damage with his return game, his strong serve alone was enough to keep him within striking distance.
Once Isner lost the tiebreaker, though, he completely unraveled in the Miami heat. Matteo Bonetti of beIN Sports noted how Djokovic looked largely unaffected by the conditions, while Isner looked as if he had taken a dip at the local water park:
Djokovic completely dominated on serve, losing four points in the second set and picking up three aces. Meanwhile, Isner's first-service win percentage dropped from 73 percent in the first set to 64 in the second, and he lost six of his seven second-service points in the second set.
ATPWorldTour.com's Elena Scuro was particularly impressed with the way in which Djokovic managed to outperform Isner in the one category in which Isner was perceived to have owned an edge:
Carole Bouchard couldn't help but to laud the No. 1 seed's performance:
The win sets up yet another Murray-Djokovic final. The rivalry has been rather one-sided of late, with Djokovic owning 17 head-to-head victories compared to Murray's eight. Djokovic has also won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two. Murray's last win came in the 2013 Wimbledon final.
Unless the venue for Sunday's final switches to the All England Club, the smart money is on Djokovic picking up his third title of the 2015 season.
Note: Match stats are courtesy of ATPWorldTour.com.