ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andy Murray sinks Novak Djokovic for third Masters 1000 crown

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ThrowbackTimes Miami: Andy Murray sinks Novak Djokovic for third Masters 1000 crown

In the second part of 2008, Andy Murray became the fourth-strongest link on the men's Tour, winning two Masters 1000 crowns and five titles overall, ready for more of the same in 2009. Despite an early exit in Rome that spring, the Briton became world no.

3 ahead of Novak Djokovic for the first time, capitalizing on consistent results in the previous 12 months to move behind Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Murray made a victorious start of the 2009 season, beating Roger Federer and Andy Roddick to conquer Doha before losing to Fernando Verdasco in five sets at the Australian Open.

The Briton went all the way in Rotterdam on an indoor court, ousting Rafael Nadal 6-0 in the decider and setting another final against the Spaniard in Indian Wells, when he won only three games. Determined to go one step further in Miami, Murray toppled Novak Djokovic 6-2, 7-5 in an hour and 43 minutes on April 5 to wrap up the 11th ATP title and the third at the Masters 1000 level since the last summer, delivering rock-solid tennis to bring home 1000 points.

Interestingly, it was the only encounter between Novak and Andy between Cincinnati 2008 and the Australian Open 2011 and the third consecutive win for the Briton, all in straight sets and all at the Masters 1000 events since the previous summer.

Murray had a great run in Miami and lost sets only against two Argentines, in the second round to Juan Monaco and the semis when he had to go to the distance against world no. 7 Juan Martin del Potro. Andy ousted Nicolas Massu, Victor Troicki and Fernando Verdasco between those encounters to reserve the title match.

On the other hand, Novak played well before the semi-final where he got broken four times against Roger Federer, prevailing 3-6, 6-2, 6-3 to set Murray clash. The Serb stood no chance there, dropping over half of the points behind the initial shot and spraying too many errors.

Opposite to him, Andy tamed his strokes beautifully, hitting more winners and fewer unforced mistakes to dominate the shortest and mid-range exchanges and leave Djokovic behind.

In 2009, Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic in straight sets in Miami final.

The Briton made the difference with the first serve, suffering two breaks from five chances offered to Novak in set number two and erasing that deficit with 11 break opportunities on his tally, stealing Djokovic's serve on five occasions to become the champion.

Murray drew first blood in the first game of the match when Novak played a loose forehand, cemented the break with a hold at love after an ace and raced into a 3-0 lead following Djokovic's drive-volley error. A service winner pushed Murray 4-0 ahead with another hold at love, firing another in game six to keep the distance and creating a set point on the return.

Djokovic fended it off before Andy held at 30 in game eight with a smash winner for 6-2 after 33 minutes, doing everything right on the court so far and acting like a player to beat on that day in Florida. There was nothing to stop the Briton in those moments, as he clinched a break at the start of the second set with a forehand winner.

Novak bounced back in the next game, leveling the score at 1-1 and gaining the necessary confidence ahead of the rest of the set. Things looked even better for the Serb when Murray netted a forehand in the fourth game, opening a 3-1 advantage and bringing the next game home with a serve&volley combo to extend the gap and move closer to a decider.

In one of the encounter's pivotal moments, Andy repelled two break chances in game six to avoid a 5-1 deficit and served to stay in the set after Djokovic's solid hold a few minutes later. Murray held at love to extend the set and saved two set points on the return to pull the break back when Novak sent a forehand long, boosting his chances and leveling the score at 5-5 with an ace in game ten.

Frustrated after a considerable lead he squandered, Djokovic suffered a break at love in game 11, and Murray sealed the deal with a hold at 15, rattling off five straight games and racing over the finish line for his third Masters 1000 crown at 21.