Djokovic overpowers Murray for fifth Miami Masters title
MIAMI–World number one Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-0 on Sunday to win his fifth Miami Masters title.
Serbia’s Djokovic pushed his career record against the Scot to 18-8, adding the triumph in the championship match on the hardcourts of Miami to victories over Murray this year in the Australian Open final and the semi-finals of the Indian Wells Masters.
Djokovic became the first man to complete the Indian Wells-Miami Masters title sweep three times.
On Monday, Djokovic will tie Spain’s Rafael Nadal for the sixth-most weeks spent at the top of the rankings, sitting atop the summit for the 141st week in his career.
Murray, meanwhile, is poised to return to number three in the world.
The Scot, whose last victory over Djokovic was in his historic Wimbledon final triumph of 2013, started strong in a bid to end a six-match skid against the Serb.
The two traded four breaks of serve in the first eight games of the tense first set.
Djokovic was quick to seize the initiative in the tiebreaker, racing to a 4-0 lead, and despite a double fault Djokovic had quickly wrapped up the decider 7/3.
The second set went with serve until Djokovic, looking weary and frustrated, was broken in the final game, gifting Murray a double fault for 0-30 before the Brit belted two winners to force a third set.
But the Serb regrouped, storming through the third set for the win.
Murray had a glimmer of hope of avoiding the undesired “bagel” with a break chance against Djokovic in the sixth game.
He couldn’t convert and Djokovic gave himself a match point with a cunning drop shot-lob combination.
The Serb finished Murray off on his first opportunity, pulling him out wide with a serve then stroking a winner into the open court on match point.
“It was brutal,” Djokovic said of another physical battle between the two.
“I just managed to play the third set the way I was supposed to.”