Novak Djokovic successfully defended his Miami Masters title with a powerful 6-1 7-6 victory over Andy Murray in Sunday’s final.
The Serbian came storming out of the blocks and took just 47 minutes to pick up the opening set against a nervy-looking Murray.
British number one Murray fought hard to get back into the match though, with a draining second set full of energy sapping lengthy rallies being dragged all the way to a tie break.
Both men dug in superbly in the hot Miami sunshine, but in the breaker it was Djokovic who picked up the crucial points to take it 7-4.
A 30th career title for Djokovic was his second win in Miami in succession and his third overall – matching Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as the only two other three-time winners of the event.
After what was a disappointing semi-final loss at the last event at Indian Wells, Djokovic was delighted to get a win under his belt heading into the clay court season.
“It’s great, it was a fantastic tournament for me after a disappointing loss in the semi-finals in Indian Wells I needed to regroup and get ready for this tournament and I managed to come up with my best tennis when I needed to so I’m delighted,” Djokovic told Sky Sports after the match.
“You can’t really explain how difficult conditions were here but it was really tough, really hot and humid outside. I was ready to play long rallies with Andy, he’s a top player and a quality player from the baseline.
“I had a few chances to close it out earlier but he had his chances to take that second set also so in the end I was happy to get it done in straight sets.
“We’re good friends off the court. We’ve known each other since we were 12 years old and there’s no secrets in our game and we’re great rivals. We’ve had many thrilling matches on different surfaces, it’s always a challenge and always a pleasure to play against him.”
Murray made a trademark slow start in the final, and he was broken twice by the world number one in consecutive games to lose the opener in little more than 47 minutes.
Djokovic continued to attack Murray’s serve in the second set as he was taken to deuce in four of his six service games, but the Brit clung on to force the breaker.
The Serb got ahead quickly in the breaker though and Murray could not get back into it as he went down 7-4 and Djokovic successfully defended his title.
“In the first set Novak served and returned very well, in the second set I got into the points a bit more,” said Murray.
“They were tough conditions out there and we played some really long points. But congratulations to Novak he’s played the best tennis here all week.”