ROME, May 15, 2016
Andy Murray celebrated his 29th birthday by claiming the ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome. The world number three defeated four-time champion Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-3 to become the first British man to triumph at the Foro Italico since Patrick Hughes in 1931.
Murray saved all of the three break points he faced, converting three of his own ending the Serb’s 17-match-winning streak against top 10 opponents in one hour and 35 minutes.
The 29-year-old Scot will return to number two in the ATP rankings after he had lifted his 12th Masters title.
“It’s mostly great players have won this event, so I’m very proud to have my name on the trophy. Today against Novak is nice. I know he didn’t play his best today. But there were still some tough moments for me in the second set. I saved the break points well and held strong. And overall it was a great week for me. I didn’t lose a set,” Murray said.
Djokovic was denied in his quest for an unprecedented 30th Masters 1000 title. He would have become the first tennis player to exceed $100,000,000 in prize money.
“I had a long couple of weeks, especially the last couple of days. I knew it’s going to be very hard for me, an uphill ride against Andy today, who was playing throughout the week at a very high level. To compete with him in long exchanges and rallies that we do have in our encounters, they require a lot more energy and better performance from my side which didn’t happen.
“Not taking anything away from Andy’s win. On the contrary, I think he deserved to win and deserved to win the entire tournament, because he was the best player. He was the player that played in the best form throughout the entire tournament.”
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan captured their fourth Rome title and 36th at the Masters 1000 level, defeating Vasek Pospisil and Jack Sock in the doubles final 2-6, 6-3, 10-7. The encounter lasted 70 minutes.
“We’re sharing a room this week. [Mike] fell asleep around 2:30, 2:45 a.m., because he started snoring. We drank so much coffee last night that I was wired. It was a 12-hour turnaround. Our bodies don’t turn around quickly anymore,” Bob Bryan said.
“The rain delay definitely helped us. Our coach [David Macpherson] was back in the locker room, where we had about 15 minutes, and he said, ‘Fire it up!’ We were kind of flat in the first set and weren’t playing with a lot of energy. We had a late match and Bob went to bed at 4 a.m. in the morning. So we were kind of dazed and confused. We were bouncing around in the second set. We played a good Match tie-break, which can go either way,” Mike Bryan added.