Sunday, November 20, 2016

Murray downs Djokovic for title, ends year at No. 1

Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic 6-3, 6-4 today to win
the ATP World Tour Finals for the first time. 2015 photo
by Paul Bauman
   One former San Jose champion won a title in the ATP World Tour Finals in London today, but another fell short. Barely.
   Top-seeded Andy Murray dismantled second-seeded Novak Djokovic by the surprisingly one-sided score of 6-3, 6-4 to win the crown and end the year at No. 1, both for the first time.
   Murray captured the first two of his 44 career singles titles, tied for 14th in the Open Era, in the SAP Open in San Jose in 2006 and 2007. Those were Murray's only appearances in the tournament, which ended a 125-year run in Northern California after the 2013 edition.
   In today's doubles final, fifth-seeded Henri Kontinen of Finland and John Peers of Australia edged seventh-seeded Raven Klaasen of South Africa and Rajeev Ram of Carmel, Ind., 2-6, 6-1 [10-8].
   Ram won the doubles crown in the 2011 SAP Open with Scott Lipsky, a former All-American at nearby Stanford.
   Murray and Djokovic, both 29, have been rivals since their junior days. Even though Murray, who's one week older, was seeded higher, his victory was surprising. Djokovic was 24-10 against Murray and fresher. Djokovic was coming off a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Kei Nishikori, whereas Murray had needed 3 hours, 38 minutes to subdue Milos Raonic 5-7, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (9), saving a match point in the process.
   Murray admitted after the final that he was tired during the match and stayed calm to conserve energy. He is often feisty on the court.
   Murray ended 2016 with 24 consecutive match victories and five straight titles. This year, he also won his second Wimbledon title, earned his second Olympic gold medal in singles and became a father for the first time.
   Djokovic was trying to win the ATP World Tour Finals for the fifth straight time and sixth overall. He also was bidding for his third straight year-end No. 1 ranking and fifth overall.
   Djokovic won only one title after capturing the French Open in June to complete a career Grand Slam.
   Murray earned $2,391,000 for winning the title, and Djokovic pocketed $1,261,000.

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