Novak Djokovic continued his domination of Andy Murray, besting his rival and good friend 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-0 to win his 5th Miami Open title and 7th straight match over the Scot.
“It was just a physical battle between the two of us that play similar game,” said Djokovic after his 10th straight Masters final win. “We haven’t served that well, so we haven’t had that many free points, as a matter of fact. With first or second serves, we needed to earn every single point, to work for it. That’s why this particular match was very tough.”
After trading several early breaks of serve largely due to sun issues, the match settled as billed as both guys slugged it out from the baseline with long, punishing rallies. Djokovic, who would miss several overheads during the contest, took the opening set in a breaker.
Facing one of the best front runners in the game – Djokovic was 38-1 in finals when winning the first set – Murray shook off early breakpoints in second, then with even more aggression off the ground broke Djokovic at love to win the set.
Under the blazing hot sun, Murray couldn’t sustain the momentum and just like in Australia, Djokovic took the last set at love to win in 2 hours, 36 minutes.
“Well, I struggled physically,” Murray admitted. “I played very well for a couple of sets. Maybe I could have done a little bit better in the tiebreak in the first set. I that was it. ”
“I don’t know exactly why that is, but I’ve trained as hard as I can,” said Murray who lives part-time in Miami. “Maybe I could have hydrated a little bit better or whatever, but I don’t think that I can do a whole lot more physically to get in much better shape. So just to have try and keep working hard and see if there are a few things I can do differently which might help. You know, it’s tough, because it was obviously pretty brutal conditions out there. He was stronger than me at the end for sure.”
Djokovic has now won his last 16 Masters matches and in addition he’s won the ATP Finals and the Australian Open. The title was Djokovic’s 22nd at the Masters level (Nadal has 27, Federer 23) and 51st of his career.
It’s also his third Indian Wells-Miami double, a record.
“I could not ask for a better start of the season winning three big titles,” Djokovic added. “Hopefully I’m able to use this for the clay-court season coming up. That’s extremely important for me. I feel good about myself right now on the court, and just going to take it slowly, one tournament at a time.
“I’m trying to enjoy the moment and also utilize this time of my career where I’m probably playing the tennis of my life and I’m feeling confident and physically fit. That’s what I’m thinking about right now. I am aware that this cannot go forever. There is going to be eventually a change of generations, some players that are going to start playing better and be stronger. But until that time comes, I’m going to try to stay as long as I can on the top and fight for biggest titles.”
Against Murray, Djokovic now leads 18-8 winning 10 of their last 11 and 10 straight on hardcourts. Murray has yet to beat a member of the Big 3 since his return from back surgery last year.
“There were a lot more positives than the match in Indian Wells. I felt like I did many things better. I made the match a lot harder for him… I think I made it physically a much harder match for him. I felt like I was going for my shots a little bit more. I did all of the things that I wanted to do tactically on the court.”
Djokovic celebrated the win with his infant son, Stefan, afterward.
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) April 5, 2015
Murray wasn’t amused with the “egg” fed to him in the third set.
Congrats to Novak on a great start to the year.. However this egg today wasn't appreciated on easter😂
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) April 5, 2015
Murray will get married next Saturday in Scotland. Djokovic will head home to Monte Carlo to play the Masters event there which begins Sunday.
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