Andy Murray joined the ’40 Win Club’ while Grigor Dimitrov failed to cross the finish line for the third time this year when the Brit beat the Bulgarian 6-4, 7-6(2) Sunday in the final of the China Open in Beijing.
Murray joined Roger Federer (88 titles), Rafael Nadal (69), and Novak Djokovic (66) as active played with 40 or more career titles. Dimitrov fell to 0-3 in finals in 2016.
“It was probably my best match of the week,” Murray said. “But my second serve tonight was probably the best part of my game. A lot of the unreturned serves came off second serves. Considering the conditions were fairly cold, I was still serving over a hundred miles an hour on some second serves.”
Murray did not drop a set all week in winning his fifth title of the year.
Murray served for the championship at 5-4 but lost at love. Dimitrov at one point won 11 straight points to change the momentum and force a tiebreak.
“In that game he started slicing a lot of backhands,” Murray said. “It threw me off my rhythm a little bit.”
In the second set tiebreak Murray secured an early mini-break before cruising to the finish line.
Dimitrov was looking for a first trophy-raising effort since 2014.
“I think the past couple of times, Andy has been playing really well against me,” said Dimitrov. “I didn’t start my match the best way possible. I got broken right away in the first game. There are very different conditions today, pretty chilly. I think I just didn’t have enough time to adjust. I think the previous two matches played like it was indoors.”
Falling to 4-5 in career finals, Dimitrov gave the Brit high praise.
“Andy’s pretty much the greatest player this year,” said Dimitrov, apparently unaware of a player named Novak Djokovic.
Murray is now 40-21 in career finals and 5-4 this year.
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