The most dominating version of Novak Djokovic, the one that makes their rivals tremble and squanders any apparent margin for surprise, has been seen many times at the Miami Open, one of those tournaments in which the Balkan has shown his best tennis on recurring occasions. Although there is something surprising in Novak’s history with the Florida tournament is how most of his few defeats there have been against players who did not seem to have great options to defeat him. He started as the top favorite for the Miami Open 2020 after his demonstration of power in Australia, and many took it for granted that this very day at this same hour, we would be talking about the seventh title of this tournament in his record. But no. The coronavirus has altered everything predictable and Novak will have to wait until 2021 if he wants to enlarge his legend in the American event.

His first appearance in Miami occurred in 2006. A beardless Novak of just 18 years old was the faces with Guillermo Coria and gave in 5-7 1-6, making it clear that he would have to work hard to reach the maturity necessary to storm the top. The following year he was ready: an impeccable tournament came together, winning Nadal, inflicting a severe punishment on Murray in the semifinals 6-1 6-0 and closing his feat without giving up a single set, winning in the final a Guillermo Cañas.

Was his first Masters 1000 title, who the following year could not defend when falling before Kevin Anderson surprisingly, in the first round 6-7 (1) 6-3 4-6. He accused the hangover of the success of adding his first Grand Slam in Australia that year, but the following season he could only be stopped by Andy Murray in the final (2-6 5-7). Although if there is a remembered game of Djokovic in Miami it is the end of 2011 edition, in which he prevailed over Rafael Nadal in a memorable match resolved by 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4), which made the whole planet vibrate. One of those encounters that build the legend of the Balkan player.

In 2010 he would fit one of the most unexpected and surprising defeats in his career, falling to Olivier Rochus at the first exchange for 2-6 7-6 (7) 4-6. Nor could anyone expect to succumb to an already veteran Tommy Haas in 2013, 2-6 4-6, while the loss to Benoit Paire In 2018, he revealed severe physical problems in his elbow that was still dragging and confidence, from which he did not recover until Wimbledon. The editions of 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 and 2016 were an ode to tennis, a tribute to the king of racquet sport by a man as virtuous as it was effective, which was erected as an impregnable wall for all his opponents. His first appearance in the new facilities of the tournament of the Miami Open 2019 ended with a loss to Roberto Bautista, on a tour in which he accused the physical and mental wear and tear of previous months, very interior, and where he ran into a very inspired Roberto.

We will have to wait another year to see Novak Djokovic in the imposing stadium of the Miami Dolphins, where he wants to extend the empire that he established in Cayo Vizcaíno. So far, it is worth remembering his exploits in a tournament where his best version could be seen, but also, dropper, the one in which he loses intensity and relaxes before players who take advantage of their golden opportunity to beat a legend. There is less for him Miami Open 2021, is the only consolation in these difficult times for tennis.