Andy Murray Defeats Novak Djokovic In Italian Open On His Birthday
Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic on clay to win his first Italian Open title on Sunday, which was also the Brit’s 29th birthday.
Andy Murray Defeats Novak Djokovic In Italian Open
After losing to Djokovic in the Madrid Open final just a week ago, the third-ranked Murray finished the Serbian superstar: 6-3, 6-3.
“The finals of a Masters series on clay is something that’s a new experience for me,” Murray said. “It’s nice to still be sort of achieving new things and reaching new goals at this stage of my career.”
Murray received a birthday cake during the trophy ceremony. He dedicated the victory to his three-month-old daughter, Sophia Olivia.
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“I feel like that’s what I’m playing for now so that in a few years hopefully she can be proud of what I have achieved,” Murray said.
Djokovic appeared to scold the umpire, Damian Steiner, several times throughout Sunday’s match, arguing that the court was too slippery because of the rain.
“I don’t want to play anymore,” Djokovic told the umpire late in the second set.
“I didn’t ask to postpone the match,” Djokovic explained later. “I asked to have a little break where we would give a little more time, maybe five more minutes, for people to arrange the court.”
Murray, on the other hand, seemed to have no trouble with the court conditions and never dropped his serve, saving all three break points he faced. He is the second British man to ever win the Open, officially called the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, after Pat Hughes in 1931.
Djokovic had taken all four of their previous games on clay, but found himself tired after draining victories over Spaniard Rafael Nadal and Japan’s Kei Nishikori. The Serb played with a bandage on his left ankle after hurting himself with his racket on Saturday.
“It was a week with a lot of emotions, a lot of hours on the court,” Djokovic said. “It wasn’t easy to be fresh today and have the strength to play with Andy. He was just too good today and he deserved it.”
Earlier on Sunday, Serena Williams ended a nine-month title drought with a 7-6 (5), 6-3 victory over Madison Keys in an all-American women’s final. The game marked the first time two American women met in a final on clay since Serena beat older sister Venus in the 2002 French Open.
William’s previous title was in August in Cincinnati, just one month before her attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam ended with a semifinal loss to Italian Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open.
“It feels great,” Williams said, pointing out that she’s only played four tournaments since Cincinnati. “So it’s not like I was playing every week. So that’s kind of how I look at it. But it feels great to win a title, especially on clay.”
This was William’s 70th overall career title. She and Murray will now go on to play in the French Open, Roland Garros, which begins next week.
PHOTO: ROME, ITALY – MAY 13: Andy Murray of Great Britain in action against David Goffin of Belguim during day six of the The Internazionali BNL d’Italia 2016 on May 13, 2016 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
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