It is becoming a very repetitive headline in tennis at the moment, but once again Novak Djokovic has won another tournament – the world no.1 held aloft his fifth Miami Masters trophy after disposing of Andy Murray in three sets 7-6 4-6 6-0.
The Serbian star proved exactly why many fans are tipping him to win all four Grand Slams in 2015; it was another final display with plenty of resolve, determination and no shortage of quality – he is nigh-on unstoppable at the moment.
He and Rafael Nadal have a great rivalry, but now Djokovic can enjoy equalling the Spaniard’s previous total of 141 weeks as world no.1 – a statistic he will claim upon Monday’s update.
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All roads will now begin to point to Paris where Djokovic will finally hope to get the better of the ‘King of Clay’ at the French Open.
Murray, meanwhile, despite boosting his own world ranking to third above Nadal, continues to struggle his way past the world’s best stars – Djokovic in particular.
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This defeat is his seventh in a row against the world no.1 and his third in 2015 alone after also coming unstuck at the Australian Open final and Indian Wells semi-final a fortnight ago.
The 27-year-old will happily wave goodbye to his recent form as a single man and will hope for better with a ring on his finger. Next weekend he will marry long-term girlfriend Kim Sears.
HOW IT HAPPENED
On-court, the first two sets of this final in Miami almost mirrored their aforementioned final at the Australian Open in Melbourne towards the start of the year, with neither managing to take advantage of early opportunities in the way of service breaks.
Both times Murray managed to break his opponent, Djokovic had the composure to hit back instantly and it needed a tie-breaker to separate the duo. After taking a 4-0 lead in the tie-break, the Serb didn’t allow Murray to find a way back.
The searing heat on the American east coast clearly took its tool on the European duo as both competitors struggled to keep their cool; personal mistakes played on the minds of the irritable pair.
Murray has been accused of lacking the mental strength of the rivals; but for the second set at least, he stuck with Djokovic as things went with serve until the Scot landed the crucial break at 5-4 to send things to a deciding set.
Whether it was another false dawn for Murray in his quest to improve the mental side of his game, or whether it was just a case of the best man powering through – Djokovic was able to dampen any hopes of a classic final set classic by steamrollering the Briton with a 6-0 bagel; it was as if he had played out the match in second gear before realising that he wanted to be home in time for Serbia’s version of TOWIE.
Neither Djokovic nor Murray have ever managed to win the French Open, but as already noted – now they will begin preparations to end that record. Although Murray’s performances have improved dramatically over the last 12 months, the smart money will be on Djokovic to win that particular race.