If Novak Djokovic were feeling the pressure of going for his sixth title at the Miami Open presented by Itau, he hid it well during his second-round match on Friday night.
Early on in his straight-sets rout against #NextGen star Kyle Edmund, Djokovic missed a first serve that Edmund framed into the night sky. Djokovic, instead of letting a ball person retrieve the errant shot and prepare for his second serve, slid to his left, raised his shorts and caught the ball in his left pocket to cheers and claps from the crowd.
The World No. 1 had more fun the rest of the night, winning 6-3, 6-3 against Edmund.
Djokovic, who’s looking to tie Andre Agassi with six Miami titles, hit only 13 winners to 18 unforced errors. But the Serbian dealt the damage through mid-range rallies.
Djokovic extended the rallies until the 21-year-old grew impatient and overhit or tried to outplay Djokovic, a scenario that often favored the five-time Miami Open champion. Edmund hit 13 winners to 35 unforced errors, and Djokovic won 28 of the 41 rallies that lasted between five and nine shots.
Edmund, who was playing in just his 14th tour-level match, did test Djokovic, though. The young Brit broke Djokovic in the first set and played fearlessly. At times, the 6’0” Brit effectively used his serve to push Djokovic off the court, which set Edmund up for a big forehand.
In the third round, Djokovic will put his 37-5 Miami record on the line against Portugal’s Joao Sousa, No. 38 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Sousa overcame Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-7(1), 7-6(5), 6-2. Djokovic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 2-0, including a straight-sets win on hard courts in 2013 in New York.
American Steve Johnson also won a tight contest on Friday, beating #NextGen star Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-6(9), 7-6(3) in two hours. Zverev saved all four break points Johnson faced but it wasn’t enough against the 26 year old, who advances to the third round in Miami for the first time. Johnson next plays France’s Benoit Paire, who won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia.
Serbia’s Viktor Troicki won the tightest match of the day, though. Troicki beat Spain’s Inigo Cervantes 6-7(6), 7-6(9), 7-6(3) in nearly three hours. The No. 19 seed saved four match points.