Murray (r) has now won his last three last matches against Djokovic
By Piers Newbery
Andy Murray captured arguably the biggest title of his career to date with a straight-sets defeat of Novak Djokovic at the Sony Ericsson Open.
The British number one beat third seed Djokovic 6-2 7-5 in Miami for his third Masters title, following wins in Cincinnati and Madrid last year.
After dominating the first set in searing heat, Murray fought back from 5-2 down to clinch the second.
The Scot now heads back to Europe for the start of the clay-court season.
"The conditions here are so tough - I know sitting there is difficult but running around is pretty tricky too," said Murray afterwards.
"He started to come to the net a lot more and I lost my timing a little bit and I started to find it a little bit difficult towards the end of the second set."
There are so many great players just now - Novak, Rafa, Roger - and they've been dominating the Slams for the last few years. It would be nice to get in there and take one
Djokovic said: "He's been playing terrific tennis in the last year or so. He was playing better tennis than me in the first set.
"I had some chances to win the second set but unfortunately I didn't."
Murray, 21, has also won tournaments in Dubai and Rotterdam in a magnificent start to 2009, and now has 11 ATP titles, bringing him alongside the career total of former British number one Tim Henman and closer to Greg Rusedski's 15.
And victory in Miami is a considerable addition to the CV as it is regarded by many as the 'fifth major', despite carrying no more ranking points than the other Masters 1000 tournaments.
He had started the week in sight of overhauling Djokovic in the rankings, but Djokovic's defeat of Roger Federer in the semi-finals ensured the Serb will hang on for at least a while longer.
Sunday's final was played in the mid-afternoon heat in Key Biscayne and both players were quickly drenched in sweat and wrapping themselves in ice towels at every changeover.
Murray looked the stronger from the outset though, moving into a 4-0 lead as he broke the Djokovic serve twice.
While Djokovic was making numerous unforced errors, the Briton was playing at the top of his game, a slam-dunk smash followed by a breathtaking backhand cross-court pass helping him to 5-1.
Murray missed his first set point in game seven when he went long with a return, but the struggling Djokovic handed over the initiative in the following game with successive unforced errors at 15-30 and the Scot sealed it with a smash.
When Murray grabbed a break at the start of the second after edging a lengthy game with a forehand pass, the world number four let out a scream of delight that signalled he was on his way to the title.
Then came a moment of mild controversy, as Djokovic called for the trainer but did not require a medical timeout.
The brief delay was enough to rouse the Serb, and it certainly seemed to disrupt the Murray rhythm as his form completely disappeared.
Errors began to flow and a rejuvenated Djokovic attacked the net more and more, often serve-volleying as he reeled off four straight games and soon stood on the brink of levelling the match at 5-2.
But Murray held serve to love to heap the pressure on Djokovic and the Serb buckled after letting two set points slip away thanks to some heavy Murray returning.
And when Djokvic sent a forehand just wide to hand back the break, his belief and form evaporated.
Three aces, including one on the second serve, helped Murray to 5-5 and when he broke again, this time to love, the game was well and truly up.
Murray served out comfortably to secure the US$590,000 winner's cheque, make more ground in his quest to break into the world's top three, and give further evidence that he is ready to win a Grand Slam title.
"I'm training very hard to try and do that but there are so many great players just now - Novak, Rafa (Nadal), Roger (Federer) - and they've been dominating the Slams for the last few years," he said.
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