Novak Djokovic is currently the worlds’ No. 1 player for a reason, as he thoroughly dismantled world No. 4 Andy Murray at the final of the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, winning 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
Djokovic dominated from the outset of the match. The well-conditioned Serbian moved Murray side-to-side with his deep, penetrating ground strokes and precise serving.
Djokovic got in 69 percent of his first serves while also winning 88 percent of his second serves. Murray simply did not have an answer for Djokovic in the first set.
Murray struggled to hold serve in the first game of the opening set while Djokovic held comfortably. At 1-1 in the second, Djokovic threatened to break the struggling Scot, but he held to stay on serve.
The second set turned out to be very tight battle which ultimately went to a tiebreaker. Murray sprinted to a 2-0 lead in the tiebreak before Djokovic won seven of the next nine points to close out the match.
Djokovic stated in the press conference that this was a big win for him. "Oh any title is big, and it means a lot, I mean such a big tournament that is considered one of the biggest tournaments in our sport."
Djokovic continued, "I won three times here. I think that says enough about how I feel playing in Miami."
The Sony Ericsson Open final could possibly be a prelude to a changing of the guard at the top of the rankings. Murray has hovered in the top five for several years, as he seeks to break through and win his first Grand Slam title. Meanwhile Djokovic is trying to cement his strangle hold on the No. 1 ranking. To this point he’s clearly overtaken his chief rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Federer lost to Andy Roddick in the third round while world No. 2 Rafael Nadal had to withdraw from his semifinal clash with Andy Murray due to a knee injury.
American hopefuls Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish had solid showings at this year’s Sony Ericsson Open but did not pose a serious threat to win it all.
Without question American tennis is suffering. There are very few American players who are prepped to put a dent in the top of the rankings.
But yesterday's final wasn’t about Nadal and Federer not being around or how dismal the state of American tennis is—it was about Djokovic—who continues to separate himself from the players behind him.
As the clay court seasons starts, Djokovic has to be the favorite going into the French Open. Nadal is battling to simply stay fit enough to finish tournaments while Federer is attempting to resurrect the dominance he once possessed. Murray keeps putting himself in position to win but has yet to take that crucial next step.
If Djokovic’s performance is any indication, it will be another stellar year for the confident Serb.
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