Andy Murray won his first career Masters Series title yesterday with a 7-6 (4), 7-6 (5) victory over Novak Djokovic at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters.
"It's huge because to win these tournaments is tough nowadays,"
the Scot told Sky Sports after his win in two hours and 23 minutes. "I've played five days in these conditions and had eight or nine matches in the last couple of weeks. But I've put in the physical work and it's paid off."
The temperature was 37C, but the 21-year-old Murray refused to wilt in the heat as he picked up perhaps the biggest win of his career and sixth career title.
It was also second straight victory for Murray over Djokovic, after he defeated him last week in the Rogers Cup quarterfinals in Toronto.
"At the end of the match, there were some long, long volleys that took a toll on both of us,"
Murray said. "Both of us were really tired."
"I got very nervous, and he was hitting the ball really big, but I hung in well,"
Murray said. "It was tough for both of us and there were a lot of long rallies. Your legs really burn out there and they were some of the hardest conditions of the year."
"But I stayed calm throughout and didn't waste any energy - especially when I went behind in a couple of matches. In the past maybe I'd have let that get to me, but now I'm playing top players on a regular basis and I'm better equipped."
Djokovic, who was attempting to pick up his fourth title of the year (3-2 in finals) and fifth career ATP Masters Series shield (4-2), falls to 10-5 lifetime in finals.
"It's different when you play against an opponent who plays a similar game with you,"
said Djokovic, "He was making me hit a lot unforced errors. It's a fast court, but Nadal plays high balls which are suitable to my forehand. But he was playing a lot of slice and changing pace to my forehand. I just lost the rhythm."
"Well, overall, I wasn't really happy with the way I played today. I could have played better. I had some chances."
Djokovic, who knows Murray's from their junior days, paid tribute to his friend.
He said: "Well done to Andy. It is his first Masters Series but I am sure there are going to be a lot more."
(source Mirror, photo/Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)