Murray hails breakthrough victory over Djokovic

ANDY MURRAY believes he now has the psychological edge over his rivals in his bid to continue his rise up the ATP Tour rankings after his win over Novak Djokovic in the Cincinnati Masters.

The Scot beat world number three Djokovic 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) on Sunday to clinch his first title at the elite Masters Series level.

The win also meant Murray rose three places to sixth position in the rankings, his highest-ever position. Murray now believes his win in Cincinnati means he has nothing to fear from any of his rivals in the top 10.

“Both of us were in pretty good shape for these matches but I had the mental belief that I could win and once you win against someone for the first time you have the feeling that you can do it again and again.

“I think it also gets into their heads if they beat you five or six times and you come back to win against them. Winning a Masters series event is tough and it will be hard to follow that up, but it gives you a lot of confidence knowing that you can do it,” he said.

He now sees the victories over Djokovic as a significant chapter in his career and hopes he can build on his success in Cincinnati.

“They were really key wins for me, especially the win against him in the Masters final,” he said.

Murray has been working hard on the physical side of his game and puts his success down to the hard work he has put in at the gym. He believes that his improved physical fitness has helped him to succeed where he failed against 2008 Australian Open winner Djokovic before.

The tough training regime which Murray has given himself has helped him improve his fitness and develop a muscular physique that answered critics who suggested he did not have the power to break into the top echelon of the rankings.

“The first three times I played him (Djokovic) I wasn’t in such good physical shape. He killed me in Monte Carlo, but this time I was in good shape. If you put the work in off the court then you can eliminate all the possible excuses and go into the match not thinking about physical shape and how much practice you have put in.

“I have been feeling much better physically which makes you more relaxed on the court because you know you have done everything you can do,” said Murray.

The British number one flew back to London last night before making the 5,000-mile plus journey to Beijing to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. He will play in both the singles and doubles events but denied that playing so many games would affect his chances of success in China.

“I’d rather be in the position I’m in now than going over there having been knocked out in the first round (at Cincinnati). Now I feel absolutely fine both physically and mentally. I’m not fatigued at all. I have just got to try and store that over the next few days.

“I’m sure that by the time I get to Beijing I’ll be a little bit tired with all the jet lag but you get over that and you just look forward to playing in such a big competition,” he said.

More in this section

Price info

Subscribe to unlock unlimited digital access.
Cancel anytime.

Terms and conditions apply


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox