Sports Gist: Andy Murray winning Streak ends as Djokovic wins Qatar Open
Sports Gist: Andy Murray winning Streak ends as Djokovic Beat him to win his first title of the year in Qatar Open Final
Novak Djokovic hit a revenge over world No 1 Andy Murray to clinch the first title of the ATP season with a 6-3 5-7 6-4 victory in the Qatar Open final.
Murray and Djokovic proved why they are the very best in the world with a superb display over almost three hours to entertain the spectators in Doha.
World No 2 Djokovic sparked off his 2017 season with a victory to cease Murray’s winning streak at 28 and five consecutive tournaments.
It also continued a remarkable streak of wins for Djokovic, who has now won the opening set against Murray on 20 occasions and has won all 20 matches, although it could have been different as Murray battled back from a set and a break down to save three championship points and force the deciding third set.
However having been beaten at the World Tour Finals in London by Murray who claimed the world No 1 spot with victory, Djokovic gained a significant triumph.
Both men kicked off with dominance on their own serves and indeed throughout the match break points were hard to see.
Djokovic’s chance did not come until the eighth game and it was here that the match took it’s first turn, Murray led 40-15 on his own serve but disintegrated to hand the Serb a crucial break which he consolidated in the next game to clinch the opening set.
The world No 2’s first serve was giving Murray little opportunity, Djokovic at one point winning 16 consecutive points to move to the brink of the title.
Having only had the merest of glimpses at a break of serve, Murray seized his chance in the second set as Djokovic served for the title at 5-4, but the world No 1 sensed his chance and after saving three championship points broke brilliantly to level the set.
The Scot turned back-to-back games into four in succession to clinch the set and take the match to a third-set decider which ebbed and flowed just as the entire match had done.
With Djokovic appearing to tire, Murray looked to be in the ascendancy heading into the third set, but despite a couple of shows of petulance, which included a dropped point following a second behaviour warning, Djokovic looked a more in control character than he did over the second half of 2016.
Murray had his chances on the Djokovic serve, forcing the play more than his opponent but when his major chance came in the fifth game he was made to rue the missed opportunity as the Serb hit back to break in the very next set and that was to prove crucial.
Djokovic broke the Scot to love and despite falling 0-30 down on his own serve when serving for the title for a second time, the Serb rallied to claim the game, the set and the title as the pair embraced at the net to signal the end of another classic final.
Both men will now take a week off before the first Grand Slam of the year gets underway at the Australian Open.
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