Congrats to Andy Murray fans. Today Murray won a second Miami Sony Open Tennis title outlasting David Ferrer in an epic, 26, 64, 76(1). Both men who are known for their fitness were visibly in pain toward the end of the 2-hour, 45-minute match.
It was far from a classic as both players struggled with errors, poor serving and physical ailments in a contest that featured 15 total breaks of serve. With temperatures only hovering in the upper 70s/low 80s, the court was slow, pace was quick and several points lasted beyond 25 strokes.
Murray, who began so poorly, lifted his game in the second then battled through a matchpoint and eventually rode out a cramping Ferrer for his ninth career Masters 1000 title and 26th overall.
Murray, a Miami resident, also moves to No. 2 in the ATP rankings tomorrow, ahead of, for the first time in his career, both rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
On court interview with Murray:
Q. Such a hard earned win. Does it feel more special because of that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, it’s taking a little while to sink in, because it’s tough to think really at the end of the match. It was so tough physically and mentally that you were just trying to play each point.
I wasn’t thinking too much only because I was so tired and not too many nerves at the end of the match, either.
So, yeah, I’m sure, you know, tomorrow and whatever, you know, I will realize that today, you know, I think it was an exciting match. I don’t think either of us played our best tennis. There was a lot of breaks and ups and downs, quite a lot of mistakes from both of us.
But what I did do was fight hard, you know, showed good mental strength to get through that match, because it easily could have slipped away from me.
Q. I believe you’re a big boxing fan. It seemed like a heavyweight fight out there, the ways you were staggering and hurting and exhausted. You carried on. Can you talk about your boxing training? Does it help you in situations like this?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I have watched a lot of boxing training. Never sort of implemented any of it into my training, because you have to be very careful with the wrists and stuff.
But, yeah, I mean, it was a brutal, brutal match today. I mean, yeah, both of us were kind of on our last legs. Good it wasn’t a best of five set match, because I don’t know how the last few sets would have ended up.
But, yeah, it was one of the toughest matches, you know, I have had to play in a Masters Series, for sure.
Q. At the awards you began your speech by you said some really nice things about David. Do you just have a little bit of guilt for having pulled off the win?
ANDY MURRAY: No, but, I mean, we both get on very well with each other. I mean, I train with him a lot, practice with him all the time.
I don’t think he gets the respect that he deserves within the game. He’s been, you know, in the top 5 in the world now for I mean, it’s at least three years. You know, he’s on course to possibly do that again. It’s a very difficult thing to do, especially with his age. He’s improved every single year, you know, his game. That takes, you know, a great attitude to be able to do that, you know.
You know, he’s always getting better. Providing his body holds up, he’ll be around the top of the game for as long as he wants or he can, because he’s a very, very, very good tennis player and has a great attitude.
Q. Down a match point, can you take us through that point that maybe was the boost when that shot was upheld?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, he actually put the forehand back in play and stopped you know, he stopped the point. So, you know, it was good for me that I didn’t have to hit another shot, because obviously on match points, it can be tough to, you know, pull the trigger. But I went for that forehand and, you know, obviously just dropped in in the last second.
Yeah, it is tough to, you know, going into the tiebreak for him having lost that game where he’s had a match point and, you know, it was centimeters away from being his match.
That’s probably why he didn’t play such a strong tiebreak.
Q. I’m thinking about the training you did between the Australian and this one. Would you ascribe some of the fact you came through this one to the work you did then?
ANDY MURRAY: I think just general freshness, really. You know, a lot of the guys were maybe a little bit tired after, you know, because after Australia a lot of guys play three tournaments between, you know, between Australia and Indian Wells.
I felt fairly fresh this week. Last week in Indian Wells was a struggle for me. I didn’t play so well there.
But then here I felt better, and today I think being fresh helped even though the tennis wasn’t great. I just managed to get over the line in the end.
Q. You said you didn’t know what would happen in the fourth and fifth set. What made this as tough if not tougher than the five sets you played against Djokovic in the US Open?
ANDY MURRAY: Conditions. I mean, started playing at 7:00 in the evening, and it was very windy and cold conditions. When we finished the match, it was cool.
You know, remember Rafa and Novak played here a couple years ago in a three set match and Rafa was I think in hospital after the match. You know, the conditions in Miami are extremely hard. It was very, very humid today.
Yeah, sometimes pressure and nerves or tension or whatever can add to that, as well. Yeah, there was a fair amount riding on the match. It was a big match for both of us, and I think that showed in some of the way that we played.
Didn’t play necessarily our best tennis, and, you know, I was up a lot and couldn’t close the match out. So, I mean, that’s why matches like these ones are tough, because, you know, the humidity here is brutal.
Q. It looked like you tweaked your ankle late in the third set.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, it was a good job I had my ankle braces on because yeah, I mean, I guess if you watch the replay, I was expecting him to hit the backhand cross court and hit the backhand up the line, and, yeah, my left ankle that’s why I wear the ankle braces, to stop that from going completely over.
Q. Did it slow you down?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I was slow at that stage, anyway. (Laughter.)
I wasn’t running as freely as I was at the start of the match. Neither of us were. But, I mean, it feels absolutely fine. I mean, I got up straightaway and knew that it was nothing serious.
Q. Were you aware that CBS left the match going into the tiebreaker to switch to the basketball tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: No.
Q. What’s your reaction to that? I know you’re a basketball fan, but is it a bit of a commentary on the state of tennis in the sports land here or perceived state of tennis that they wouldn’t show the tiebreak?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t think in sports land. I think tennis is a huge sport. Basketball, you know, doesn’t really get in Europe, anyway, tennis is a much bigger sport. Obviously here, you know, the college system is I mean, it’s unbelievable.
I mean, they get great viewing figures. They get great crowds going to the matches. It’s obviously a shame that we didn’t get to see the end or people didn’t get to see the end of I think what was a pretty exciting match, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.
Q. Can you comment on being back up to No. 2 in the rankings? How important is it this time around compared to the previous time you got to No. 2?
ANDY MURRAY: I think just purely because I was getting asked about it quite a lot, and it’s nice just to have been able to do it this week. So I don’t have to go into Monte Carlo or Madrid or Rome and kind of be worrying or thinking about that.
I mean, for me it doesn’t change a huge amount, but the fact that I’m moving up the rankings is a good sign. You know, I have been winning a lot of matches. My consistency has been better over the last few months. The rankings obviously reflect that.
So I will try and keep working hard during the clay and hopefully, you know, I can go higher.
Q. In the couple seconds you had before finding out whether your ball was good or not, did you have time to even think about it, get worried, anything?
ANDY MURRAY: It felt good, and the fact that he kind of mishit the forehand you know, generally when the ball hits the line, it skids through quite a lot, and it seemed to me like that was what happened.
And also, he also didn’t look that convinced that the ball was out. Obviously there’s a thought that it could be out, but it felt good.
Q. Also, I believe this is the first time someone has saved match point in the decisive set, in a tiebreaker [sic]?
ANDY MURRAY: In this tournament? Yeah, I wouldn’t know. But I mean, it does happen quite a lot on the tour. I think it maybe happened a little bit more a few years ago just because when the courts were quicker and stuff it was easier for guys to serve their way out of trouble; whereas that’s not the case these days.
Q. A lot of players are struggling with the 25 second rule. Do you think the clock on court will help?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it would help just because, you know, as a player, you know, when you’re playing in a tiebreak like that at the end of the match, you know, I’m not thinking about how long I’m taking between the points.
You know, if you have the clock there on the court, the crowd can see it, the players can see it. Everyone knows whether someone is going over or not and not just the umpire. Because, you know, you can ask the umpire how long you took after a point, and often they don’t actually know exactly how long it was.
So I think if there was a clock on the court, then that would help the players to concentrate better.
Q. You had so many chances in the first set, and it seems like a lot of break points, making errors after errors, which was very frustrating for you. Was it the conditions that were bothering you initially, or what was the reason why…
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think a little bit of that. I mean, it was very warm today, and, you know, the previous matches in the evenings were very, very different.
Yeah, it was frustrating, because I think four of the first five games I had game points in, and I found myself 5 Love down.
That was tough. But, yeah, I mean, it could be a lot of things. I mean, he started the match pretty well. He started better than me. Yeah, the conditions a little bit. There’s always going to be some nerves in the final, as well. When you get yourself behind early, that’s sometimes tough to come back from.
Q. Just wondered when you spoke to the supervisor in the final set, was that about the injury…
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he just came on. He came onto the court. I didn’t call for the supervisor to come onto the court.
He just came to explain what was happening, and I just asked if there was another physio to see me, which there wasn’t. At that stage I didn’t want to delay the match by waiting for the physio to finish on him and then see me.
Q. When you train with David, is that here?
ANDY MURRAY: No, just I mean, in preparation for tournaments, you know, the week before slams, I will often practice with him. I practiced with him a couple of times before the tournament started here.
But, yeah, I mean, I don’t go to Valencia to train and he doesn’t come here to train. It’s normally just pre events. You know, we practice and play a lot of sets together.
Q. Did you know him when you trained in Barcelona as a teenager?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I never practiced with him then.
Q. Medical attention? Did you need medical help after this match, intravenous fluids, anything like that?
ANDY MURRAY: I haven’t done any of that. I just took a lot of liquids afterwards and tried to get, you know, as much food down me as possible, because obviously, you know, you’re pretty depleted, you know, at the end of a match like that.
So, yeah, I saw physios, got stretched and massaged and drunk probably about a liter and a half of fluid when I came off to try and get hydrated.
Q. After you won, was it more a feeling of pure exhaustion or jubilation, or are you too tired to realize?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think yeah, you’re obviously extremely happy, and then but, yeah, at that moment both of us were really, really tired. I mean, you know, he was obviously disappointed at the end, but, you know, from neither of us there wasn’t a huge contrast in how either of us were after the match, because we were both in the locker room afterwards, you know. I wasn’t up celebrating with my team. You know, we were just kind of sitting there, because, yeah, we’re just incredibly, incredibly tired after a match like that.
That was how I reacted afterwards is just really, really tired, glad that you managed to come through it, and, you know, have some fun this evening.
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