Andy Murray broke his losing streak to number one ranked tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic. It took him nearly two years to get back to his former glory, but he was able to win the 2015 Montreal Masters by taking out the one player who seems to get in his head the most.
Murray snapped an eight-match losing streak to 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’m not sure she will have stayed up to watch this one but, Amelie, this one’s for you,” Murray said.
The Scotsman climbed a spot to number two in the world rankings after capturing his fourth title of the year in a major boost to his confidence ahead of the U.S. 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.
“I thought what made the difference was his serve and my serve. I didn’t serve well the first set and a half.
“But not taking anything away from him, from his victory. He deserved it. He stepped in, played some great shots. Most of all the moments when he needed to, he served very, very well.”
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 hardcourts, and first since 2010.
“We’ve played many matches like that, especially in grand slams,” Murray said. “If this was the U.S. Open, we’d have to play another couple of sets like that, which isn’t easy.
“He’s 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.”
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 40C.
“Everybody wants me and Novak to dislike each other and people always try to stir things up between us,” Murray said.
“It’s impossible to be extremely close when we’re playing in these sorts of matches because it’s so mentally challenging and physically demanding and you need to try to still have that competitive edge as well. “But it’s not easy, not only because we get on but because he’s bloody good, he’s number one in the world and he hasn’t lost in a Masters Series this year. To win against him is extremely tough.”