This was the first time since 2011, that Novak Djokovic took the Madrid Open title, with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory in the final, played earlier today, taking his ATP Masters titles tally to a record 29, one more than Rafael Nadal.
It was anything but a walkover. Djokovic was on his toes throughout, saving no less than seven back-breaking points in his final service game, before defending champion Andy Murray’s fire could be put out and victory secured.
“I don’t know how I dug my way out,” Djokovic admitted later, “but that’s what happens when you play against one of the best in the world.” And in this match, Murray was at his best, though in the end, the Serb’s nerves of steel won him the game.
Djokovic dominated the first set easily, but Murray rallied round in the second, getting a vital break in the fourth game, then holding serve and managing to tie the match.
In the third set Djokovic again got a crucial breakthrough in the sixth game, Murray fighting back tooth and nail, but finally relenting to the superior skills of the World No. 1.
Incidentally, losing at the Madrid Open also means that Andy Murray has lost his ATP ranking as World No. 2, replaced by Roger Federer at that position now.
Djokovic meanwhile, has his sights set now on the year’s second Grand Slam event – the French Open, beginning on May 16 – which is the only major tournament he has yet to win.