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Novak & Andy: The Rivalry

Djokovic, Murray© Getty ImagesNovak Djokovic beat Andy Murray in the 2015 Australian Open final on 1 February.

Novak Djokovic downed Andy Murray in three sets in the Miami Open presented by Itaú final to clinch his 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown. Djokovic extended his winning streak against Murray to seven matches and now owns a 18-8 FedEx ATP Head2Head advantage.

The 27-year-old Djokovic has won 10 of his past 11 matches against Murray, having also defeated the Scot in the 2015 Australian Open and again just weeks ago in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals. His lone defeat in that span came in the 2013 Wimbledon final. looks at their previous meetings...

2015 Miami Open presented by Itau Final, Miami, Djokovic d. Murray 76(3) 46 60
With his seventh straight win over World No. 4 Murray, Djokovic captured a fifth crown in South Florida and became the first player to complete the Indian Wells – Miami title sweep three times. The first set of the final was anything but straightforward, with both players tallying two breaks each before Djokovic clinched the tie-break. Murray temporarily turned the tide, taking the second set with a break to love at 5-4. Ultimately, Djokovic's momentum, a culmination of his recent performances against Murray and his stellar start to the season, was too much for the Dunblane native to overcome in the final set.

"It was just a physical battle between the two of us that play similar game," Djokovic said. "We haven't served that well, so we haven't had that many free points, as a matter of fact. With first or second serves, we needed to earn every single point, to work for it. That's why this particular match was very tough."

2015 BNP Paribas Open Semi-final, Indian Wells, Djokovic d. Murray 62 63
Djokovic entered the 25th meeting between the two rivals with soaring confidence, and it would be reflected in a dominant victory over the Scot. The top seed was ruthless from the onset, finding his rhythm from the baseline immediately and using his agility to frustrate Murray.

Djokovic would surge to a 3-0 lead in both sets as Murray's unforced error count rose. Murray pressed for a break back in the fifth game of the second set, but a pair of Djokovic service winners denied both chances. The Serb's first match point came on Murray's racquet at 5-2, which the Scot turned aside with an ace down the T. Djokovic would serve out the win on his fourth match point in the next game, prevailing after one hour and 28 minutes.

The World No. 1 and three-time Indian Wells champion returned to the final - his 31st at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level - after hoisting the trophy the previous year (d. Federer).

"Even though it's a straight set victory, I still had to earn it," said Djokovic. "I thought that he didn't play close to his highest level. He made a lot of unforced errors, especially from the forehand side. Low percentage of first serves in. That allowed me to obviously step in and be aggressive.

"I thought I played solid, with the right intensity from the beginning.  Good first serve percentage. Got some free points there in the important moments."

2015 Australian Open Final, Melbourne, Djokovic d. Murray 76(5) 67(4) 63 60
Djokovic, MurrayNovak Djokovic became the first player in the Open Era to win five Australian Open crowns and denied Andy Murray his third Grand Slam championship title in his fourth final at Melbourne Park. Djokovic has now won 38 hard-court titles for No. 3 in the Open Era list behind Roger Federer (57) and Andre Agassi (46). It was his fifth clash against Murray in a major final.

Murray fought back from a 1-4 deficit in the first set and led 4/2 in the tie-break before Djokovic mounted his own comeback. Both players exchanged service breaks in the second set, but it was Murray’s mental resilience that helped him into a 5-2 lead in the tie-break, including winning a 26-stroke rally. From an 0-2 deficit in the third set, Djokovic won 12 of 13 games to extend his winning streak to 10 matches against opponents in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Roy Emerson, a six-time Australian championship winner, was on hand to present Djokovic the Sir Norman Brookes Trophy.

Murray was bidding to become the first British man to win the Australian Open since Fred Perry in 1934. His run ensures he will return to the Top 4 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Djokovic also beat Murray in the 2011 and 2013 finals.

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2014 BNP Paribas Masters Quarter-final, Paris, Djokovic d. Murray 75 62
Djokovic continued his push to finish 2014 as year-end World No. 1, ousting eighth seed Murray in the Paris quarter-finals. The top seed would go on to claim a third ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title in the French capital, having also prevailed in 2009 (d. Monfils) and 2013 (d. Ferrer). Djokovic fired 12 winners and just one ace over the one hour and 41 minute affair. After dropping the first set, Murray pounced early in the second for an early break advantage. The lead would be short-lived, however, as Djokovic broke back immediately and proceeded to reel off five straight games to secure the victory.

"The first set was very close," Djokovic said after the match. "I had some a few break point opportunities and held my service games pretty well, then I got a crucial break at the end of the first. He was a break up in the second, but then he hit some double faults and allowed me back in. After that, I started swinging through and felt much better."

Murray, Djokovic2014 China Open Semi-final, Beijing, Djokovic d. Murray 63 64
Djokovic, the No. 1 seed in Beijing, improved to a 23-0 in the Chinese capital and reached a fifth China Open final with a straight-sets victory over Murray. Murray rallied briefly in the second set, fighting from a break down to level at 4-4, but Djokovic’s defensive skills left the Dunblane native smashing his racquet in frustration as he capitulated on serve in the ninth game. Djokovic limited Murray to just seven winners and thwarted the Scot on four of his five break point chances in the encounter lasting one hour and 37 minutes.

"It was a two-set victory today, but still it felt like I had to work hard to win the points," said Djokovic. "There was a lot of rally exchanges. [Andy] had a lot of chances to come back... Just in important moments I managed to play the better tennis."

2014 US Open Quarter-final, New York City, Djokovic d. Murray 76(1) 67(1) 62 64
Top seed Djokovic advanced to an eighth consecutive US Open semi-final after withstanding a withering challenge from Murray that ended after 1 a.m. at Flushing Meadows. The dramatic opening two sets on Arthur Ashe stadium featured eight service breaks and lasted two hours and 13 minutes before Djokovic asserted control in the second half of the match. The Serb fired 46 winners and broke serve seven times, sealing the win to become the seventh player to reach 50 US Open match victories.

“It was a very physical battle in the opening two and a half sets," said Djokovic. "I didn’t expect anything less before the match knowing I was facing Andy. The last five times we’ve always gone over three, four hours."

2014 Miami Open, presented by Itau Quarter-final, Miami, Djokovic d. Murray 75 63
Djokovic needed 90 minutes to oust his good friend and rival in the quarter-finals at Crandon Park, en route Murray, Djokovicto completing his second Indian Wells-Miami double. He previously achieved the feat in 2011. Second seed Djokovic settled into the match quickly and put Murray under pressure from the start. The Scot appeared to struggle for consistency on his backhand in the breezy conditions and two double faults, when serving at 3-2 in the second set, cost him dear as Djokovic went on to win four games in a row to wrap up the win.

"I think I was calmer in the important moments where he wasn't," admitted Djokovic. "He lost his composure, I think, and made unforced errors and allowed me to win."

2013 Wimbledon Final, London, Murray d. Djokovic 64 75 64
Six months after they battled for the Australian Open crown, Murray chased sporting immortality in what turned out to be one of the greatest days in British sporting history. On 7 July, on Centre Court at Wimbledon, Murray broke a 77-year male singles title drought at The Championships when he beat Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in the final.

Cheered on by 15,000 spectators and thousands watching on nearby 'Henman Hill', Murray saw three match point opportunities slip by from 40/0 and fended off three break points with some fearless hitting, before the Serb netted a backhand to end an eight-minute game and a contest that had lasted three hours and 10 minutes. A Briton had finally followed in the footsteps of Fred Perry's 1936 win.

2013 Australian Open Final, Melbourne, Djokovic d. Murray 67(2) 76(3) 63 62
Top seed Novak Djokovic became just the third man in tennis history to win three straight Australian Open titles with a four-set victory over third seed Andy Murray. Djokovic joined Andre Agassi (1995, 2000-01, 2003) and Roger Federer (2004, 2006-07, 2010) as a four-time winner in the Open Era. Murray, who is seven days older than Djokovic, also lost in the final in 2010 (l. to Federer) and 2011 (l. to Djokovic). Murray could not convert five break point opportunities en route to the first set tie-break, which saw Murray seize an early 4-0 advantage. He went onto clinch the 68-minute opener. The 65-minute second set ended with another tie-break, but this time Djokovic grew in confidence and won three straight points from 2-2 before levelling the score-line. Before the start of the third set, Murray received treatment for blisters on his feet. Djokovic broke serve in the eighth game of the third set and hit two aces and 10 winners to win the third set and leave Murray in a dangerous position. Breaks of serve in the third and fifth games put Djokovic in pole position to capture his sixth Grand Slam championship crown and deny Great Britain its first male champion at the Australian Open since 1934.

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Djokovic2012 Barclays ATP World Tour Finals Round Robin, London, Djokovic d. Murray 46 63 75
Over two hours and 34 minutes, a capacity crowd at The O2 in London was engrossed by a fine display of attacking tennis and superb defence in Group A round robin play. Afterwards, Djokovic said, "It was another great match and another great performance from both of us. I didn't expect anything less, other than a tough match that went down the wire and was decided in the last point. We have a great rivalry that hopefully will develop even more in the future." Murray admitted, “The last two minutes of the match were about what decided it. He broke at 15/40 and then I had 15/40 in the next game and didn't break."

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Djokovic2012 Shanghai Rolex Masters Final, Shanghai, Djokovic d. Murray 57 76(11) 63
Andy Murray failed in his bid to win a third straight Shanghai title in a memorable clash. Murray edged the first set, which had seven breaks of serve, and served for the match at 5-4 in the second set. Djokovic saved five match points before winning a 20-minute tie-break and breaking Murray twice in the third set. "It was a thrilling match [and] very long," said Djokovic. "Three and a half hours for best of three is quite long. But I have got used to it. Whenever I play Andy, I know it's going to be a gruelling fight with a lot of long rallies. It could have gone either way.” Murray admitted, “I've lost tougher matches than that before and I'm sure I will recover," he said. "It was literally the difference of one, two centimetres [between] winning the match and losing it.”

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Murray2012 US Open Final, New York City, Murray d. Djokovic 76(10) 75 26 36 62
Andy Murray ended Great Britain's 76-year wait for a male Grand Slam singles champion with an epic victory over four hours and 54 minutes that broke Novak Djokovic’s 27-match hard-court winning run at major championships. "When I realised I had won, I was a little bit shocked, I was very relieved and I was very emotional," said Murray. Djokovic rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the 87-minute first set to force a tie-break, which Murray won on his sixth set point opportunity. Murray led 4-0 in the second set, but was pinned back to 5-5. Over the course of the next two hours, Djokovic staged a remarkable comeback. It seemed he could become the first man since Ricardo Gonzales in 1949 to rally from two sets down to win the US Open. But Murray broke in the first game of the fifth set and was gifted a second break. Murray went onto serve out the championship 79 years to the day that Fred Perry had won the first of his eight major singles crowns. "I'm disappointed to lose, but I gave it my all," said Djokovic. "I had a great opponent today. He deserved to win this Grand Slam more than anybody. I would like to congratulate him."

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Murray2012 London Olympics Semi-final, London, Murray d. Djokovic 75 75
Andy Murray set up another final at Wimbledon in electrifying fashion, with a quite brilliant display in rapidly fading light. He broke Novak Djokovic at 6-5 in each set and save break points in three separate games in the second set. Djokovic cracked at the end and was broken to love, while Union Jack clad fans encouraged Murray to perform a victory jig. “I've played big matches before, night matches at the U.S Open, but it's not even close to how this feels,” said Murray. “You don't often see me smile that much, but all the volunteers and the staff, they are so pumped for you, it's great. This is one of the biggest wins of my career.” Murray went onto play Roger Federer in the gold medal match.

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Djokovic2012 Sony Open Tennis Final, Miami, Djokovic d. Murray 61 76(4)
Novak Djokovic captured the Miami title for the second consecutive year. It was the Serbian’s third overall and avenged his 2009 loss to Murray at Crandon Park. "I thought I played a great match from the start to the end," said Djokovic, who did not drop a set throughout the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament. "But with such a quality player you really never know, that's why he's right at the top. He always comes back even if you feel that you have control of the match so I am really happy to close it out in straight sets." Djokovic won a long and compelling fourth game and broke once again in the sixth game en route to clinching the first set. The 90-minute second set featured four games that reached deuce, but Murray could not create a single break point. “I didn't return well today, which is normally one of the best parts of my game. That was the difference, in my opinion," said Murray.

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Murray2012 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Semi-final, Dubai, Murray d. Djokovic 62 75
Andy Murray became the first player to beat Novak Djokovic in 2012 after he broke the Serbian twice in each set to win in 82 minutes. Murray, serving superbly, won seven games in a row from 2-2 in the first set. But Djokovic worked his way back into the second set, but three loose errors in the 12th game gave Murray a place in the final. "It's obviously great any time you beat the world number one," said Murray. "I just tried to do some of the same things I did in Australia. I was very close there against one of the greatest players ever, and today I did what I needed to, even though it nearly got away from me at the end."

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Djokovic2012 Australian Open Semi-final, Melbourne, Djokovic d. Murray 63 36 67(4) 61 75
In the longest ever match, at that time, of the 2012 Australian Open, Novak Djokovic celebrated his status at the best player in the world. Murray fought back from 2-5 in the fifth set and could not convert any of his three break point opportunities that would have left him serving for the match. Djokovic hit 184 winners to Murray’s 161 winners. Murray revealed afterwards, "[Ivan Lendl] told me a couple of nights ago, 'You'll win but you're going to have to go through a lot of pain to get there, so prepare yourself mentally for that. There will be a lot of tough points to play when your legs are sore and your legs are burning.'" Djokovic admitted, “Andy deserved the credit to come back after 2-5 down. He was really fighting. Not much words to describe the feeling I have now. It was a physical match. It was one of the best matches I played. Emotional and mentally it was difficult too. We were breaking each other's serve easier than holding. It was a very even match, from the first to the last point."

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Murray2011 Western & Southern Open Final, Cincinnati, Murray d. Djokovic 64 30 ret.
Andy Murray was the in-form player of the week. On a roll winning six of seven games, Murray led 3-0 in the second set before Djokovic retired with a shoulder injury. Murray did not drop a set en route to lifting the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy for the second time. "I would have obviously liked to have won by finishing the match," said Murray. "But it happens sometimes. I have to look at the week as a whole. It's been a very good week. I’m glad I managed to win today, but unfortunate the way it happened.”

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