The Novak Djokovic juggernaut continued at full throttle as the world's top player defeated David Goffin 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 on Friday at the Miami Masters to move within one victory of completing a prestigious March tournament title double.
Djokovic, winner a fortnight ago in Indian Wells, California, will be seeking to claim a record 28th Masters 1000 trophy in the Sunday final against either Japan's Kei Nishikori or Australian outsider Nick Kyrgios.
Djokovic has made his way into his 11th consecutive title match at the elite Masters level, completing his 15th straight Miami match win in just over two hours against Belgium's Goffin.
The Serb, who leads the rankings with more than double the points of number two Andy Murray, is into his seventh Miami final as he aims for a sixth trophy in South Florida, which would tie him with Andre Agassi.
Djokovic now stands an overwhelming 41-5 at the event, which he has won in four of the last five years.
He needed an hour and a quarter in steamy, draining heat to get through the first set against 15th-seeded Goffin, the first Belgian to get this far in the tournament's 32-year history.
"It was not my best match, but credit to David for hanging in there," Djokovic said.
"It was very warm, very humid. I was proud to stay tough in the important moments and come up with some big serves. We both struggled with conditions today, the whole first set lasted for hour and 15 minutes - physically, a great battle, lots of exchanges from the baseline.
He and Goffin were both labouring in the heat, Djokovic said.
"It was windy, it was humid, it was warm - it was like everything was thrown out there on us," he said. "I was a bit fortunate in the tiebreak, but I made him play always an extra shot. Second set was even better."
The top seed was broken in the seventh game but immediately broke back to stay in the chase. Djokovic had to win a tiebreaker to get the job done as he grabbed the early lead.
He stayed calm in the second set even after being called for what appeared to be an unfair time violation, when he took more than the 30 allotted seconds between points to check out an ankle after a hard landing in the sixth game, 3-3.
Djokovic went to work to close down Goffin, advancing into the final match four games later on his first match point.
Djokovic has reached the 19th final of his last 21 tournaments since the start of 2015 and will be playing his 40th career Masters final.
Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 21:36
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - 07:00
Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 03:20