Murray wins in Valencia as Djokovic stuns Federer
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:49
Andy Murray clinched his sixth title of the year having returned to action for the first time in nearly two months, beating Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 in the final of the Valencia Open.
The world No.4 had taken time out to recover from a wrist injury picked up during the US hard court season, but was never troubled during a one-sided final against the Russian.
Youzhny had beaten compatriot Nikolay Davydenko in three sets in the semi-finals, but was far from his best a day later and was duly swept aside in straight sets.
Murray broke in games four and six and never looked back, although alarm bells will be ringing over a hip injury picked up during his semi-final win over Fernando Verdasco, which hampered his movement at times.
The Scot briefly faltered, allowing Youzhny to recover one of the breaks as he served for the first set. But while Youzhny followed up with a hold to love, Murray regained his composure to finish the set with an ace.
Once Murray had raced into a 3-0 lead at the start of the second set, the contest was effectively over. Youzhny nearly clawed one of the two early breaks back but Murray stepped up his game to move 4-0 clear.
Another two holds of serve were enough to seal Murray’s 14th career title in convincing style.
“Both of us had long matches on Saturday,” Murray admitted. “I knew the start of the match was going to be important and I started well, going up 5-1 pretty quickly.
“I’d say it was a little easier than I had expected but he is a tough player.
“It was a very, very good week. It is very rare for someone to win a tournament after a long break. I am happy I have come back from the injury well and played better with every match.
“I didn’t have high expectations this week but with every round and match you get more confident. I felt good with the way I was hitting the ball.”
Roger Federer heads to the BNP Paribas Masters 1000 as the tournament favourite, but the odds might have been lengthened a little after Novak Djokovic ended his four-year unbeaten run at the Swiss Indoors in Basel.
“I played by far my best match. It came at the right time,” said the Serb after a 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory over the world No.1 in his own back yard.