Djokovic gets better of Murray again to secure Madrid title


Novak Djokovic came through a gruelling third-set battle with Andy Murray to win the Madrid Open for a second time and reclaim the honour of being the most prolific winner in ATP Masters 1000 history.

Having impressed on Saturday by beating Rafael Nadal in Spain's capital for a second year in succession, reigning champion Murray put up a brave fight 24 hours later after being thrashed by Djokovic in the opening set.

However, the world number one was not to be denied as he triumphed 6-2 3-6 6-3 to record a 12th win in his last 13 meetings with Murray.

Djokovic's 29th Masters title - and fifth in the six most recent events at this level - takes him one clear of Nadal, who had moved level with the Serbian on 28 wins when triumphing in Monte Carlo last month.

Murray, who will now drop to third behind Roger Federer in the ATP rankings on Monday, demonstrated no shortage of resolve following a miserable start to Sunday's final.

The Briton was comprehensively outplayed throughout the first set, winning just three points on his opponent's serve as Djokovic dominated from the baseline.

A shift in momentum followed, though, as errors crept into the top seed's game and an improving Murray capitalised to level the match.

Murray again fought back in the decider after falling 2-0 down, but was soon broken again as Djokovic, the champion here in 2011, clipped a sideline with a backhand winner.

Even then, Murray refused to fold and he saved a championship point when serving at 2-5 before finally succumbing at the end of a marathon game in which he failed to convert seven break points.

Djokovic has now won 15 matches in succession against top-10 opponents - dropping just two sets in the process - and his latest victory over Murray came 10 years on from their first meeting, also in Madrid. On that occasion, Djokovic prevailed in three sets.