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Scotland's Andy Murray proves Mark Petchey right with elusive Novak Djokovic win

By Robert Jones

Published 18/08/2015

Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray

Andy Murray has always been capable of ending his Novak Djokovic hoodoo and can repeat his Montreal Masters final victory, says Mark Petchey.

The Scot (28) ended an eight-match losing run against the world number one to prevail 6-4 4-6 6-3, improving his world ranking from third to second, behind Djokovic, ahead of the Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows.

"I never lost faith in Andy or doubted his ability to beat Novak," Petchey, Murray's former coach, said.

"It would have stung that it's taken so long but Murray was very close on a number of occasions.

"He was a break up in the third set in the Australian Open, just a few points from winning that match. It was the same story at the French Open. It wasn't as though he's been getting totally outclassed - I always felt that he was within touching distance.

"He's never been as far away from Djokovic as some people say. Look at the percentage of points won between them. Djokovic has never had the kind of back injury that Murray sustained and he's been playing without the element of doubt. It's been an easier couple of years for him."

Murray dedicated his Rogers Cup victory to coach Amelie Mauresmo after announcing that she had given birth to a baby boy on Sunday morning.

''My coach Amelie Mauresmo is back home. She gave birth to a baby boy this morning - I'm not sure she will have stayed up to watch this one. I'm sure she was a little bit tired, but Amelie this one's for you, thank you,'' he said on Sky Sports.

Djokovic had been aiming to win his fourth Rogers Cup in his ninth final of the year, but Murray was in determined mood to claim his own fourth ATP Tour title of 2015.

With the two top seeds renewing their rivalry, a drawn-out battle was expected and they did not disappoint, Murray forcing a total of 19 break points on Djokovic's serve, but the resilient Serb found ways to hang in there time after time before eventually succumbing.

Both players were keen to lay down a marker ahead of the US Open, which begins later this month, and first blood went to Murray as he put Djokovic under intense pressure to take the first set 6-4. But the Serbian hit back to win the second set and the decider was punctuated by a series of games that turned into titanic tussles, with neither man prepared to give away an inch.

Murray put himself 3-0 in front, with Djokovic noticeably looking down towards his right forearm and grimacing between points. But the Serbian does not know how to give up and fought back to test the Scot's mettle at 3-1, forcing five break points in a game that took 15 minutes to complete, before Murray made it 4-1.

Djokovic survived three championship points at 5-2, before Murray eventually clinched the final set 6-3 with his fifth.

When asked if he felt preparations for the US Open could not be going any better, Murray remained grounded, adding: ''It's hard to say. I lost in the first round of a tournament last week in a match many probably weren't expecting me to lose.

''Things can get better very quickly and they can get worse very quickly in sport, so it's important for me to analyse what went well this week and things I can still improve on.''

Djokovic, meanwhile, was magnanimous in defeat, saying: "You deserved to win, definitely."

Belfast Telegraph

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