Novak Djokovic dispatched perennial contender David Ferrer in straight sets (7-5, 7-5) to move to the semis in Miami. Djokovic will face American John Isner next, with the winner facing either Andy Murray or Tomas Berdych in the finals. Djokovic has played and enormous amount of tennis in the past year, working deep into 2014 to maintain his world #1 ranking against a renewed Roger Federer. Yet Djokovic, despite fatigue, seems to be able to will himself to victories now. After dropping the first three games to Ferrer he came back, saying afterward: “I knew that I’m going to have my chances if I stayed committed, if I kept on working,”
The work doesn’t stop for Djokovic. After being part of the Big Four–with Murray, Federer and Rafa Nadal–for years now, Djokovic looks poised to clear the field and stand on top by himself. He’s created distance between himself and Federer at #2–and Federer’s twilight, while glorious, can’t last. RF now needs to play a perfect match to beat Djokovic, and perfect matches are rare. Nadal’s injuries continue to bedevil him. Murray can’t compare on fitness or competitive fire with his Serbian rival. Djokovic–who had arguably the best year any men’s tennis player ever had back in 2011– looks about to have #1 to himself for a long time. He’s just 27.