Murray Drubs Djokovic to Take Sony Ericsson Crown

by John on April 6, 2009

It was a match up of Nos. 3 and 4 rather than the anticipated duel between Nos. 1 and 2. Andy Murray won a battle between two weary warriors yesterday in the sweltering heat of Miami as he defeated No. 3 Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-5 in the finals of the Sony Ericsson Open. Murray became the first three-time titlist on the ATP Tour this year and improved to a tour-best 26-2 in 2009. Djokovic had upset No. 2 Roger Federer on Friday in the semifinals and No. 1 Rafael Nadal was bounced from the tournament by rising Argentine star Juan Martin del Potro in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Since a July loss to Nadal in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, Murray has compiled a 57-7 record, tops in men’s tennis. Nadal is next at 50-7. The irrepressible Murray appeared the fitter of the two yesterday in the hot and humid conditions on Key Biscayne. Murray raced to a 4-0 lead against the nervous and error-prone Serb in the first set. Djokovic briefly found his game and held twice before the Scotsman served out the set. “Yet again, I was the biggest enemy to myself,” said Djokovic. “I was struggling again adjusting to the heat. I was really impatient in the start, made a huge number of unforced errors, and he was playing very solid, waiting for his chances, serving quite well, moving all over the court quite good.” Murray broke to start the second set and on the change over a noticeably laboring Djokovic consulted the trainer. Temporarily rejuvenated, Djokovic broke back and surged to a 4-1 advantage with another break. Murray regrouped, cut down on his errors, and got a key service break in the ninth game. The Scotsman finished strong, winning the last five games for his 11th career title. Murray had 19 unforced errors to 43 for Djokovic. “I played a great first set but after I’d broken him in the second and he called the trainer, he started to go for broke, shorten the points and I lost my rhythm,” said Murray. “But I’m really pleased with the way I came back.” Murray has now beaten Djokovic three straight times and trails the Serbian by just 170 points in this week’s new ATP rankings. Murray is definitely playing much more like No. 2 in the world than his current No. 4 ranking. The Scotsman has won his last four matches with Federer and is 2-1 against Nadal in his last three. Next week the European clay-court season begins in earnest. Clay is Murray’s least-favorite surface. “The clay-court season will be very important for me now,” said Murray. “On hard courts, my game is up there with the others but on clay it hasn’t been the same. If you take the results on it out of the equation, I’m very close to Roger and just behind Rafa, so I need to improve.”

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