Murray masters ailing Djokovic
Serbian suffers just his second defeat of stellar season
Last Updated: 24/08/11 11:10am
Andy Murray claimed the Western & Southern Open title in Cincinnati after world number one Novak Djokovic was forced to retire midway through the second set with a shoulder injury.
The Scot was already well on top against the Wimbledon champion, whose record for the season dropped to 57-2 when he quit while trailing 6-4 3-0.
Despite the somewhat anticlimactic nature of the win, the title will send Murray to New York for the start of the US Open next week in good spirits, as he embarks on his latest bid to claim a maiden Grand Slam title.
Murray was by far the more consistent player in the opening set, as Djokovic struggled to reach the performance level which has seen him established as the dominant world number one during a remarkable 2011.
The Serbian has won nine titles this year, including his second and third grand slam titles of his career, in Melbourne and Wimbledon.
But his exertions over the last eight months seemed to affect him from the outset in the searing heat in Cincinnati, as Murray swiftly assumed control by breaking in the opening game.
Djokovic briefly sparkled, hitting back to level at 3-3 but world number four Murray simply upped the tempo to restore his advantage by breaking for a 4-3 lead after a lengthy exchange, which culminated in a forehand winner from mid-court after his opponent had struggled to control a low volley.
The Scot duly served it out to claim the set before Djokovic had to call for the trainer and doctor.
And it was quickly apparent the end was near when Murray broke Djokovic twice to establish a 3-0 second-set advantage.
Djokovic decided to call it a day shortly afterwards, although whether his decision to quit was largely a precautionary measure ahead of Flushing Meadows remains to be seen.