Miami Open: Novak Djokovic becomes leading tennis prize-money earner

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Novak Djokovic wins sixth Miami Open title

Serb defeats Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3 6-3 in final

CNN  — 

Novak Djokovic eased past Kei Nishikori 6-3 6-3 to claim a record-equaling sixth Miami Open crown and become the all-time leading prize-money earner in tennis.

The world No. 1 earned $1,028,300 for his final defeat of the Japanese star, taking his total career prize money to $98.2 million – surpassing Roger Federer’s $97.9 million.

The Serb took just an hour and 26 minutes to see off his Japanese opponent at the Crandon Park Tennis Center Sunday. In doing so, he matched Andre Agassi’s impressive haul of tournament victories at the prestigious Masters 1000 event.

Djokovic’s first Miami title arrived in 2007, and he won it again in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.

“I have a very special connection to this tournament,” Djokovic said on court as he picked up his winner’s check, edging his career prize-winnings above those of Federer.

“Back in 2007 at Miami it was the biggest tournament that I had won,” the World No.1 continued. “It has been a springboard for everything that has come after that.”

Breaking records and the bank

Djokovic’s impressive victory also sees him become the first man to claim back-to-back Indian Wells and Miami Masters 1000 events for three consecutive years.

His only loss in 2016 so far has come at the hands of Feliciano Lopez in Dubai when he was forced to retire due to an eye infection.

Such rich form was always likely to prove too tough a mountain to climb for World No. 6 Nishikori.

Although he broke Djokovic twice early on, he lost his own serve three times in the first set, which Djokovic wrapped up in 34 minutes.

Nishikori also wasn’t helped by the fact that he made 30 unforced errors compared to just 10 winners throughout the match.

“It was a tough match,” Nishikori later said. “He was very patient and he didn’t miss. Playing Novak is always a great challenge for me.”

Djokovic, in comparison, always looked dangerous on his opponent’s second serve. He broke again in the first game of the second set and then refused to let Nishikori back in as he marched to the title.

The 11-time grand slam winner patted his hand on the court several times as part of his victory celebrations, displaying his affection for the Miami arena on which he has found success so many times.

“I certainly hope the love affair continues in the years to come,” he told the crowd.

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07:31 - Source: CNN