Andy Murray recorded his first win over Novak Djokovic in more than two years on Sunday, beating the world No. 1 in the final of the Rogers Cup 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Murray snapped an eight-match losing streak against Djokovic with his first win over the Serb since the 2013 Wimbledon final, then dedicated the victory to his coach Amelie Mauresmo, who gave birth to a baby boy earlier in the day.
“I am not sure she will have stayed up to watch this one but, Amelie, this one is for you,” Murray said.
The Scotsman climbed a spot to No. 2 in the world rankings after capturing his fourth title of the year in a major boost to his confidence ahead of the US Open, starting in New York at the end of the month.
Djokovic suffered just his fourth loss this year and his first in a Masters Series finals since falling to Roger Federer in Cincinnati in 2012.
“Andy is deservedly a winner today on the court,” Djokovic said.
“I thought what made the difference was his serve and my serve. I did not serve well the first set-and-a-half,” he added.
“Not taking anything away from him, from his victory. He deserved it. He stepped in, played some great shots... He served very, very well,” Djokovic added.
Murray got the decisive break in the second game of the final set, but had to survive an 18-minute service game to consolidate his lead in the fifth game before claiming his third title on the Canadian hard courts, and first since 2010.
“We have played many matches like that,” Murray said. “If this was the US Open, we would have to play another couple of sets like that, which is not easy.”
“He is obviously one of the best returners in the world and he obviously has a lot of confidence to stand and fight right to the end, so you have to play right to the end of the match and weather the storms when they come, and I managed to that today,” Murray added.
Born just a week apart, Murray and Djokovic have known each other since they were children, attending the same training camps and competing against each other in junior events.
Fierce rivals on the court, the pair embraced at the net after a three-hour battle of attrition that left both men exhausted as courtside temperatures reached 40oC.
“Everybody wants me and Novak to dislike each other and people always try to stir things up between us,” Murray said. “It is impossible to be extremely close when we are playing in these sorts of matches, because it is so mentally challenging and physically demanding, and you need to try to still have that competitive edge as well.”
“It is not easy, not only because we get on, but because he is bloody good. He is No. 1 in the world and he has not lost in a Masters Series this year. To win against him is extremely tough,” Murray added.
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