Andy Murray continued to show he has the chops to challenge the world’s best but, like his coach Ivan Lendl early in his career, come up just short each time.
On Sunday Murray looked in charge late in the second set against world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, but the dominant Serb was able to right the ship and pull out a 6-1, 7-6(4) win to successfully defend his Sony Ericsson Open title from last year.
“I’ve won three times here,” Djokovic said. “I think that says enough about how I feel playing in Miami. I love the crowd…I have been really playing well in the last couple of years here, so this is going to be very encouraging for me prior to the claycourt season.”
Djokovic joined the illustrious ranks of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi as players to win three Miami crowns.
“I’m playing at the peak of my form and I’m playing the best tennis that I have played,” Djokovic said. “The competition is getting stronger, I believe. Everybody is so professional nowadays. So that makes it even tougher for anybody to win a title. But I’m ready for it.”
Not ready for it was Murray, who was overwhelmed in the first set, and couldn’t take his chances in the second, falling to 5-8 career against Djokovic. Murray was the fresher in the final after receiving injury walkovers during the event from Milos Raonic in the third round and Rafael Nadal in the semifinals.
“I didn’t return well today, which is normally one of the best parts of my game,” Murray said. “That was the difference, in my opinion. Not getting into enough of his service games because I missed too many returns. If I was able to get into more longer rallies on his service games, then maybe it would have been a different result in the second set.”
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