MONTREAL • Andy Murray recorded his first win over Novak Djokovic in more than two years on Sunday, beating the world No. 1 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 in the final of the Rogers Cup.
Murray snapped an eight-match losing streak to Djokovic with his first win over the Serb since the 2013 Wimbledon final, then dedicated the victory to his coach Amelie Mauresmo. She gave birth to a boy earlier in the day.
"I'm not sure she will have stayed up to watch this one but, Amelie, this one's for you," he said.
The Scotsman climbed a spot to No. 2 in the world rankings after capturing his fourth title of the year. It is a major boost to his confidence ahead of the US Open that will start in New York at the end of the month.
Djokovic suffered just his fourth loss this year and his first in a Masters Series finals since falling to Roger Federer in Cincinnati in 2012.
HE'S GOT THE EDGE
I thought what made the difference was his serve and my serve. I didn't serve well the first set and a half.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC on losing the Rogers Cup final to Andy Murray
"Andy is deservedly a winner today on the court," he said. "I thought what made the difference was his serve and my serve. I didn't serve well the first set and a half.
"But not taking anything away from him, from his victory. He stepped in, played some great shots. Most of all the moments when he needed to, he served very, very well."
With assistant Jonas Bjorkman watching from the player's box, Murray got the decisive break in the second game of the final set.
But he had to survive an 18-minute service game to consolidate his lead in the fifth game before claiming his third title on the Canadian hard courts, and first since 2010.
"We've played many matches like that, especially in grand slams. If this was the US Open, we'd have to play another couple of sets like that, which isn't easy," said Murray.
"He's obviously one of the best returners in the world and he obviously has a lot of confidence to stand and fight right to the end, so you have to play right to the end of the match and weather the storms when they come, and I managed to do that today."
Born just a week apart, Murray and Djokovic have known each other since they were children, attending the same training camps and competing against each other in junior events.
Fierce rivals on court, the pair embraced at the net after a three-hour battle of attrition that left both exhausted as courtside temperatures reached 40 deg C.
"Everybody wants me and Novak to dislike each other and people always try to stir things up between us," said Murray, who needed five match points to win.
"It's impossible to be extremely close when we're playing in these sorts of matches because it's so mentally challenging and physically demanding and you need to try to still have that competitive edge as well.
"But it's not easy, not only because we get on but because he's bloody good, he's No. 1 in the world and he hasn't lost in a Masters Series this year." REUTERS