>> Sunday, April 1, 2012
World # 1 Novak Djokovic won his second tournament of the year after repeating as champion at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open. Djokovic defeated 2009 champion Andy Murray in straight sets 6-1, 7-6(4) to register his third title at the Miami tennis tournament. Djokovic won $659,775 as prize money for winning the title and also earned 1000 ranking points. Andy Murray earns $321,990 as runner-up, and also takes the 600 ranking points reserved for a losing finalist. The win allowed Djokovic to overtake Roger Federer in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London. Federer earlier took the lead in the points race after winning his third tournament of the year at the Indian Wells tournament.
With his Miami 2012 prize money, Djokovic now becomes the first ATP player this year to earn more than $3 million dollars. He is followed by Federer, Nadal and Murray in the 2012 ATP prize money leaders. With his runner-up earnings, Murray is the fourth player this year to win more than $1 million.
The top-ranked Serb has now successfully defended an ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown for the first time in his career. He has now won his 30th ATP title and second in 2012 following his victory at the Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam. He also won the tournament without losing a set which he accomplished when he won the title in 2007. He is also the first #1 player to win the Miami tennis tournament since Federer won back-to-back championships in 2005-2006. He joins American tennis legends Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras in being the only ATP players to win the title three times.
Djokovic quote after winning the Miami 2012 tennis tournament: "When he feels the chance, he always grabs it... Luckily for me, I came out with some good serving when I needed to. I think I served over 70 per cent of first serves in, which was really important today to get a couple of free points on that serve and set up a good second shot. I [did] that when I needed to... Any title is big, and it means a lot... I've won three times here. I think that says enough about how I feel playing in Miami. I love the crowd... I have been really playing well in the last couple of years here, so this is going to be very encouraging for me prior to the clay-court season."
Murray was aiming for his second title of the season and second consecutive win over Djokovic after beating the top ranked player in the semifinals of the Dubai tournament. He has earned enough ranking points in Miami to rise to number four in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London. His second loss to Djokovic this year dropped him to a 5-8 record against his childhood friend and rival.
Murray quote after finishing runner-up in the Miami 2012 tennis tournament: "I didn't return well today, which is normally one of the best parts of my game. That was the difference, in my opinion... [I was] not getting into enough of his service games because I missed too many returns. If I was able to get into more longer rallies on his service games, then maybe it would have been a different result in the second set."