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Djokovic beats Murray to win record 29th Masters title

Novak Djokovic

Madrid : A decade after their first match, when they were a couple of promising teenagers, Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray again in Madrid, this time to win a record 29th career Masters title.

The top-ranked Djokovic defeated the second-ranked Murray 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 in the Madrid Open final on Sunday, 10 years after their rivalry started in the round of 16 of the tournament in Spain.

“Ten years (later) we are the two best players in the world, which at that time maybe it seemed like something that will be very challenging for us to achieve,” said the 28-year-old Djokovic, who beat Murray in three sets in that 2006 meeting.

“But we both thrived to be at the top, and we’ve known each other since we were 12. I think you can see already in those junior days that both of us have serious intentions to conquer the tennis world.”

Djokovic saved seven break points in the final game and converted on his third match point of the night to secure the win over the defending champion on Sunday, moving one victory ahead of Rafael Nadal in Masters tournament victories.

The loss kept Murray from winning his 12th Masters title, and will drop the British player to No. 3 in the ranking today, when he will be surpassed by Roger Federer, third in the list of Masters winners with 24 titles.

“I’m very pleased that I have developed a great rivalry with somebody that I’ve known since very long time and somebody that I have a very good and friendly relationship with on and off the court,” Djokovic said.

Djokovic has won 12 of the last 13 matches against Murray since 2014, and is 23-9 overall against the 28-year-old British player.

It was Djokovic’s second title in Madrid, and fifth of the year this season. He reached 33 wins, the most on tour i 2016. The win leaves the Serb tied with Bjorn Borg and Pete Sampras for sixth on the Open Era titles list with 64.

“It’s obviously very flattering to be alongside such legends of the sport, tennis players that I was looking up to,” Djokovic said. “It’s an achievement that I’m very proud of.”

Djokovic dominated the first set but it was even from then until the end, with both players faltering on decisive moments. Djokovic hit 25 winners but had as many unforced errors, while Murray had 10 aces in the match that lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes at the “Magic Box” center court in the Spanish capital.

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