Undercooked Murray pays price for lack of game time in Miami as Djokovic marches on
Andy Murray was easily beaten by Novak Djokovic in the final of the Miami Masters 1000 on Sunday evening but can take heart from a spirited showing in the second set.
The world number one from Serbia took the opener for the loss of just one game as he threatened to record an emphatic victory.
However, the plucky Brit battled back in the second set, continually producing big serves to stave off the threat of a service break. A tie-break ensued but Murray unfortunately ran out of steam, and Djokovic was able to celebrate a 6-1 7-6(4) triumph and collect yet another Masters Series title, and his second in a row in Miami.
Despite the comprehensive nature of the scoreline, Murray can take heart from the second set and the fact he managed to prolong the defeat for two hours and 18 minutes.
Having been blown by away by the Serbian’s consistent ground strokes off both wings in a one-sided first set, it was feared the Scot may suffer the same fate in the second. He got his act together though, and began to win some of the many lengthy baseline exchanges with his opponent, before Djokovic eventually prevailed.
Murray had played just three matches in reaching the final, and his lack of big-match practice prior to Sunday’s showpiece may have been a hindrance as many experts had predicted.
A lack of time spent on court meant that the world number four was unable to carry any sort of momentum into the match, in stark contrast to his opponent, who was able to ‘play’ himself into the tournament in the early rounds before gradually reaching top form on Sunday.
There were no excuses from the British number one though. “Novak deserved to win today and has played the best tennis all week. In the second set, I got into more of his service games but he played really, really well.”
The Serbian will now turn his attentions to the clay court season, a period where he enjoyed great success last season before succumbing to Roger Federer in the semi-finals at Roland Garros. “I managed to come up with my best tennis when I needed to so I’m delighted. I’m now really looking forward to the clay season. Hopefully the highlight will be the French Open, which is top of my priority list with the Olympics.”
In the women’s tournament, Agnieszka Radwanksa stunned hot favourite Maria Sharapova with a 7-5 6-4 victory to claim the title. It was the Pole’s ninth WTA Tour trophy and her second of 2012, whilst Sharapova suffered her fourth loss in the final of the Miami event.