Miami Masters 2013: Recapping Andy Murray and Serena Williams' Championship Wins
And predictably, both champions faced worthy opponents in their final matches, as Murray took on World No. 5 David Ferrer on the men's side, while Serena Williams emerged victorious over four-time Grand Slam-winner Maria Sharapova on Saturday.
Both players captured their second tournament wins of the season, as coincidentally, each won at the Brisbane International in Australia in January.
Here's a look back at how Williams and Murray each managed to take home bragging rights in Miami.
Serena Williams vs. Maria Sharapova
The match between Williams and Sharapova was a seesaw battle that witnessed each player in control at different points during the clash.
In the first set, Williams looked shaky, and Sharapova took advantage, winning the first set by a margin of 6-4 and appearing to have the trophy within arm's reach midway through the second set (via NYTimes.com):
Sharapova seemed poised to take home her first winner’s trophy in five finals appearances. She won the first set, then in one stretch in the second, she took three consecutive games to put Williams on her heels. She pumped her fist and shouted, “Come on,” after breaking Williams to go ahead 3-2, but her momentum was short-lived.
After weathering the storm, Williams came out firing all cylinders, as the World No. 1 roared back to win four consecutive games to take the second set 6-3.
During the early stages of the match, Sharapova's serve had been on point, as she landed 80% of her first serves, but things changed in a hurry, as Williams broke her twice on two double faults by the Russian star.
From there, Sharapova was all but finished following the drastic shift in momentum, and got steamrolled 6-0 in the final set.
Williams' ability to put pressure on Sharapova's second serve was the difference in the end, and it helped her go a perfect seven for seven in break-point situations.
Overall, Williams displayed the killer instinct needed to battle back against a world-class player at her best, and that showed in her 35-13 advantage on winners.
Williams' perseverance and poise helped her take home her sixth title in Miami, because almost any other player would have collapsed like a tent facing the deficit that she did during the second set.
Andy Murray vs. David Ferrer
On the men's side, David Ferrer put up a good fight against his training partner (who also happens to be the reigning Olympic and U.S. Open champion), as the Spaniard came out swinging in the final in Miami.
The match was an exhausting back-and-forth affair that clearly pushed both players to the limit physically in 80-degree weather, and went almost three hours on Sunday afternoon.
In the first set, Ferrer stormed out of the gates, sweeping the first five games against Murray to jump out to an insurmountable lead early and ultimately take the opening set 6-2.
But Murray never lost focus, and the Scot bounced back with a 6-4 win in the second set to force a decisive third frame, which turned out to be a slow, painstaking marathon.
Both players were broken multiple times, and neither seemed to be able to get into any kind of groove down the stretch, keeping the score close throughout the third.
With both players left physically drained, it appeared that Ferrer had the match in his grasp, but Murray fought back and saved a championship point, ultimately forcing a tiebreak.
In the tiebreak, Murray easily dispatched Ferrer, though, according to ESPN, the Spaniard was barely able to continue physically:
He then dominated the tiebreaker, while Ferrer appeared to cramp and collapsed to the court after one long point.
Unfortunately for Ferrer, the match is yet another close-but-no-cigar moment, but it should serve as a reminder that he can hang with the world's best.
In the end, though, Murray proved once again that after a career-best season in 2012, he now knows how to win.
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