Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Madrid Open final on Sunday to win a record 29th career Masters title.
Djokovic dominated the first set but it was even from then until the end, with both players faltering on decisive moments. Djokovic hit 25 winners but had as many unforced errors, while Murray had 10 aces in the match that lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes at the “Magic Box” center court in the Spanish capital.Djokovic saved seven break points in the final game and converted on his third match point of the night to secure the win over the defending champion, moving one victory ahead of Rafael Nadal in Masters tournament victories.It was Djokovic’s second title in Madrid, and fifth of the year this season. He reached 33 wins, the most on tour in 2016. The win leaves the Serb tied with Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras for sixth on the Open Era titles list with 64.The result allows Roger Federer, who is third in the list of Masters winners with 24 titles, to surpass Murray for No. 2 in the world on Monday. It also kept the British player from winning his 12th Masters 1000 title, and second on clay.. It was Djokovic’s second title in Madrid, and fifth of the year this season. He reached 33 wins, the most on tour in 2016. The win leaves the Serb tied with Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras for sixth on the Open Era titles list with 64.
Murray remained upbeat despite the defeat. He said: ‘It’s been positive from where I was a few weeks ago going into Monte Carlo. I’ve played some really good stuff. I’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.”I’m definitely moving better (on clay), that’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. I’m not going on the court feeling a bit nervous or apprehensive. I believe I can play well on clay now”.Djokovic thanked Murray later for a notable moment of sportsmanship towards the end of the match. The Serb had been warned for a time violation by umpire Mohamed Lahyani but Murray immediately stepped in, insisting: ‘I made him wait. He was ready five seconds ago.’
Djokovic tweeted Murray: ‘Really grateful and honoured to have witnessed your sportsmanship tonight. Tennis is lucky to have you as ambassador. Thank you.’This week was the perfect response for Djokovic after the disappointment of last month when he was knocked out of the Monte Carlo Masters in his opening match by world No 55 Jiri Vesely.