Andy Murray was defending his first title on the Madrid clay and came close to accomplishing his mission. After a cold start to the match in which his serve was broken twice, losing the first set 6-2, the 2015 champion bounced back to take the second (6-3) and reach the third with his hopes intact. Unfortunately for him, he ended up losing the decider 6-3 after failing to convert no fewer than 7 break points in the final game.
After the match, the Brit summed up the clash as follows: “I obviously fought hard today. I’m disappointed because from two games, from 2-2 to 5-2, I was making him work hard in the second set and then beginning of the third and then at the end of the third set”. He also added that Djokovic got off to a flyer. “Sometimes that can happen as well. Sometimes you can start slow, but he did start playing extremely well.” To explain this start, which proved his downfall, the Olympic champion said “it is a completely different game to playing against Rafa. Novak obviously plays significantly flatter, stands much closer to the baseline and returns much closer to the baseline, so there is much less time. It took me a little while to adjust to that. But he started extremely well”.
Murray also evaluated his season so far on clay and his improvements on the surface. “I just think I’m definitely moving better. That’s for sure. It makes a huge difference. On the other surfaces it’s a massive strength of mine, a big part of my game, and for a number years I didn’t move well on the clay. I think the week as a whole and the clay season so far has been positive for me. I just need to try to find the way for whole weeks, not dropping intensity at certain moments.”