Apr 02, 2012, 08.16 AM | Source: Reuters
TENNIS-ERICSSON-DJOKOVIC-MURRAY:Djokovic beats Murray to win Miami title
KEY BISCAYNE, Florida (Reuters) - World number one Novak Djokovic defeated Britain's Andy Murray 6-1 7-6 to win the Sony Ericsson Open for the second consecutive year on Sunday.
Djokovic's victory was his third at Miami, avenged his 2009 loss to Murray here at Crandon Park and confirmed his status as the top player in the men's game.
"I thought I played a great match from the start to the end," Djokovic, who did not drop a set throughout the tournament, said during an on-court interview.
"But with such a quality player you really never know, that's why he's right at the top. He always comes back even if you feel that you have control of the match so I am really happy to close it out in straight sets."
Djokovic always looked to have the edge and converted two of his eight break point chances and won 70 percent of his service points.
The Serb got a grip on the match, breaking in a long and compelling fourth game when world number four Murray twice made unforced errors on his backhand on two game point chances.
The Scot responded positively and had break point on the next service game from Djokovic but his opponent turned on the power to hold.
Murray's backhand let him down again in the next game and two shots into the net allowed the Serb to break and serve out to take the set comfortably.
The second set was tighter but Murray had to work much harder to hold his serves and failed to get a break point against the confident 24 year old.
Nonetheless there were some entertaining baseline rallies and plenty for the crowd, basking in the sun under the palm trees, to enjoy in a 90-minute set which featured four games that reached deuce.
Djokovic ran out 7-4 winner in the tie-break to follow up his Australian Open title with his second win of the year.
"I didn't return well today, which is normally one of the best parts of my game. That was the difference, in my opinion," said a disappointed Murray, who fell to 5-8 against Djokovic.
In a strange week, the Scotsman had two walkovers, including the semi-final when Rafa Nadal withdrew with a knee injury, but he said he was ready for the final.
"No question about that. It could have taken me whenever, a couple of games to get used to sort of the pace of the rallies and stuff, but, yeah, I was up for it," he said.
Djokovic's victory over Murray marked his third consecutive match clinched in a second set tie-break after beating Spain's David Ferrer in the quarter-final and Argentina's Juan Monaco in the semi-final.
"I didn't drop a set, which is very impressive," said Djokovic. "I'm really happy with the way I played last three matches against three very good opponents and top players, so this is a very positive thing for continuation of the season."
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Frank Pingue)