Novak Djokovic stormed into the final of the Sony Ericsson Open with victory over an out-of-sorts Roger Federer in Miami.
The third seed lost the first set but responded superbly thereafter to clinch a 3-6 6-2 6-3 triumph and a final showdown with Andy Murray, who staved of the battling threat of Juan Martin del Potro 6-1 5-7 6-2.
Djokovic headed into the encounter having won only two of his nine career meetings with the Swiss, and that record looked set to worsen when Federer broke his 21-year-old opponent twice to go 5-1 up in the first set.
The world number three gave himself hope by breaking as Federer looked to serve out the set, but the former Wimbledon champion hit right back to go a set to the good.
The errors were coming thick and fast but Djokovic dealt better with the difficult, breezy conditions to stun Federer in the next two sets.
Djokovic broke early in a topsy-turvy start to the second set to establish a 3-0 advantage and, although Federer responded to get back within a game, the Serbian then reeled off seven straight games to level at one set apiece and then take a decisive 4-0 lead in the third.
The Serbian’s win means he cannot be replaced by Murray in third position on the world rankings even if the Scot beats him on Sunday.
The fourth seed had looked set for another comfortable night’s work under the lights in Miami when he cruised through the opening set in just over half an hour.
But Del Potro, who yesterday beat world number one Rafael Nadal after fighting back from two breaks down in the third set, again proved his mettle to take just the second set off Murray at this year’s event and level the match.
The 20-year-old’s energy-sapping three-hour battle with Nadal, however, seemed to bite in the decider as Murray closed it out in two hours and 17 minutes.