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Murray wins Madrid Masters

October 20, 2008 09:22 IST

World number four Andy Murray cruised to his second successive Masters Series title by blasting France's Gilles Simon out of the Madrid Masters 6-4, 7-6 on Sunday.

Neither player matched the heroics of Saturday's semi-finals when the Scot beat Roger Federer and Simon defeated Rafael Nadal, and in an attritional baseline battle, Murray's rock-solid serve gave the tired Frenchman few chances.

"The serve is the reason I won the tournament because today Gilles was hitting the ball better than me from the back of the court," Murray said.

"He was obviously more tired than me. I didn't play best best, but really I'm really happy I won."

The 21-year-old Briton struck 10 aces to just one in reply from world number 16 Simon, who failed to manufacture one break point on Murray's service in a match lasting 93 minutes.

The 23-year-old from Nice had played for almost 12 hours in the five previous rounds -- double his opponent's court time -- and Murray seemed happy to wait for a tired Simon to make the mistake as the two traded baseline blows in rallies often lasting 20 shots or more.

"I was really tired today. I didn't move like I usually do and Andy knew it. He just wanted to kill me, just wanted to make me run," said the new French number one, who smiled despite defeat in his first Masters Series final.


The first set turned in the sixth game when Murray put the pressure on Simon's serve before forcing the Frenchman into a mishit drive. The shot was symptomatic of Simon's match as his powerful forehand, so effective in a 3-1/2 hour epic against number one Nadal, failed to fire.

Murray slapped down four aces to close out the first set, and although Simon pressed harder in the second, he never once went to deuce on the Scot's towering service.

Only when the set went to a tiebreak did Simon threaten.

Murray hit a drop shot but Simon successfully chased it down and clubbed a cross court winner for a 6-4 lead. Again Murray played the drop shot but the Scot escaped as Simon's reply landed just wide.

A thumping winner off a tame Simon serve brought up championship point which he converted after Simon dumped a volley into the net.

Murray, who won the previous Masters Series tournament in Cincinnati in August, became the first Briton to win two Masters Series titles.

Simon moved to within one place of the eight-man Masters Cup tournament in Shanghai next month, with the Paris Masters at the end of the month his best chance of stealing Juan Martin del Potro's eighth spot.

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