After 5 years, Novak Djokovic has won the Madrid Open once again. But the Serb had to play his best tennis to overcome the challenge from 2015 champion Andy Murray of Great Britain in a three-set final that took 2 hours and 6 minutes. Djokovic dominated the first set but afterwards, the game was fought on equal terms until the end. Both players faltered on crunch points and although Djokovic produced 25 winners, he committed as many unforced errors. The Scot dished out 10 aces in the match watched intently in the Magic Box Center Court of the Spanish capital. The thrilling last game finally ended when Murray sent a forehand into the net. Djokovic’s second title at Madrid was also his fifth of the current season and the Serb has now won 29 Masters titles, a record in itself. Murray’s loss in the final means, he would cede the no.2 spot to Roger Federer when the Emirates ATP Rankings are announced on Monday. In men’s doubles final played earlier on Sunday, defending champions Rohan Bopanna of India and Florin Mergea of Romania lost in straight sets to Netherlands’ Jean-Julien Rojer and Romania’s Horia Tecau.
The final of 2016 Mutua Madrid Open began with Djokovic dominating the proceedings in first set. The Serb looked imperious as he finished the first set in just 31 minutes. He broke Murray’s service twice, produced 11 winners to Murray’s 3 but just when the world no.1 seemed to run away with the match, Murray thundered in the second set to pay back on the same token. The Scot secured the much-needed break in the fourth game and held his nerve to serve out for the set.
The decider turned the match into a classic with both players showing great tennis skills. After Djokovic held his serve, he broke Murray’s to take a 2-0 lead. But the Scot broke right back and held his serve to make it 2-2. The Serb was quick to hold his serve in the fifth game and broke Murray once again to take a 4-2 lead and looked like taking the match to the end. However, Murray was not yet finished. He pushed Djokovic hard in the seventh game as the Serb went 0-40 down on his serve. But the world’s no.1 player kept his nerves and saved all three break points to win for a 5-2 lead. Murray still kept the pressure after winning his serve in the next game and once again obtained three break points against Djokovic. The Serb saved the first by winning a 24-shot rally and second by a smart net play. Murray surrendered the third point by sending a shot into the net. However, despite Murray getting two more break chances in the 10-minute 9th game, Djokovic hung on grimly before ending up as a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 title winner.
In men’s doubles final, India’s Rohan Bopanna/Romania’s Florin Mergea failed to defend their 2015 title. Their opponents Dutchman Jean-Julien Roger/Romanian Horia Tecau played better on crucial points, although the contest remained tight throughout. Bopanna/Mergea had one breakpoint in the first set but they couldn’t convert. On the other hand, the Dutch/Romanian combo made good use of the break opportunity presented to them. The second set was even more closely fought as no pair could obtain any break points against the other. In the tiebreak, Roger/Tecau prevailed to win the Madrid title with the score of 6-4, 7-6.
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