Djokovic's masterclass

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the clear favourite for the ATP World Tour Finals in London after a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is the clear favourite for the ATP World Tour Finals in London after a comfortable 6-2, 6-4 win.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Serb beats Murray, becomes first man to win six Masters titles in a single year

PARIS • Novak Djokovic's already brilliant season took on another dimension yesterday, when the world No. 1 became the first man to win six Masters tennis titles in a calendar year by dismissing Andy Murray 6-2, 6-4 in Paris.

The Serb won three of the four Grand Slam titles - Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open - and has already made sure he will finish 2015 as No. 1 in the ATP rankings.

He heads into the Nov 15-22 World Tour Finals in London brimming with confidence, having won his last 22 matches.

"I am obviously very proud and very happy to win this title again. It's a great tournament and all the best players in the world were here," Djokovic said in a courtside interview after his 78th Tour win of the season.

The Serb, the first man with four Bercy titles and also the first to win three in succession, was in another league against a sorry Murray, the second seed.

The Scot struggled to find his range early on, sending a few shots long and Djokovic broke to love for 2-1.

Murray had a few tricks up his sleeve, trying to mix it up with drop shots. But Djokovic, in his 14th consecutive final - a record for a single season, had too much poise and pace, and he stole his opponent's serve again as he took advantage of some sloppy errors.

Murray raised his game in the second set after dropping his serve early on.

He went to the net to level for 2-2 and in the sixth game he managed to lead 30-0 on Djokovic's serve.

That was as close as he came to an upset, as Djokovic won the game and put the Olympic champion on the back foot again in the following game, breaking for 4-3 when Murray sent a forehand long.

Djokovic ended a quick final on his first match point when the Scot returned wide.

The Serb played in all the Masters finals this season, winning the first three in Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo, then prevailing in Rome and Shanghai.

He faltered at the last hurdle in Cincinnati and Montreal, where he was defeated by Murray. He did not take part in the Madrid Masters.

"Congratulations to Novak on another fantastic week. It's been a great year for him again," said the Briton, after losing six of his last seven matches against Djokovic. "He fully deserves the No. 1 spot, hopefully I can get a little bit closer next year. Thank you to my team. It's been a great week for me, the first time past the quarter-finals here. It's progress and I'll try next year to go one better."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2015, with the headline 'Djokovic's masterclass'. Print Edition | Subscribe