Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak to 22 straight matches with a straight sets win over Andy Murray on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris. Djokovic has now beaten Murray six times in seven tries this season.
Djokovic Rolls Through The Opening Set
After a quick exchange of service holds by Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the tournament's top seed went to work on the Murray serve. In the third game, Djokovic's defense troubled Murray as he quickly worked to a triple break point after a big forehand shot down the line. Murray would club an attempt at a backhand pass into the net as the Serb opened a 2-1 lead with the break of serve. A long fourth game featured a 24 point rally won by Djokovic who would hold to 3-1. Murray would stave off three break points in his next service game to stay in the set at 3-2.
Djokovic would hold easily in the sixth game with some big serving for a 4-2 margin. As Murray served in the seventh game, a couple of unforced errors gave Djokovic another look at a break point. A forehand into the net by Murray would seal another break for the Serb at 5-2. Following an ace and a backhand error from the Scot, Djokovic found himself out in front by a set after a quick 42 minute set and a 6-2 score line. The top seed would not face a break chance in the opening set, while jumping all over Murray's serve. Djokovic won 60 percent of the points off of Murray's serve in the opener.
Murray Battles Back After Early Break In Set Two
The second set would start with more strain on the Murray serve as Djokovic worked another break point. Murray would work out of that hole and scorch an ace to hold in the opening game. After a Djokovic hold, Murray got into more trouble with an error that gave the Serb another break chance. Djokovic did not fail this time as he converted for a 2-1 lead. With the set possibly running to Djokovic in quick fashion, the second seeded Scot dug in for the fourth game. For a fleeting moment, Murray looked switched in as he forced a triple break point and secured the break to square the set at 2-2.
Two holds from both players would run the score to 3-3. With Murray serving, Djokovic revved up his return game with a couple of outstanding returns of serve that would put him in position to secure a big break of serve for a 4-3 lead. Two more holds from both would run the score to 5-4 and give Djokovic a chance to serve out the match. A few unforced errors from Murray would set Djokovic up with match point and he would end it 6-2, 6-4 for the title.
Serbian Streaks Continue
The win marked Novak Djokovic's 22nd consecutive win since losing the Western & Southern Open final to Roger Federer. The victory also gave him his 15th straight win at the BNP Paribas Masters in Paris for his third straight title at the event. Djokovic added to his trophy case this season with his tenth overall title and his sixth Masters Series title. Djokovic is the first player in history to win six Masters titles in a single season.
Following the match, Djokovic said that he felt similar to when he beat Murray a few weeks ago in Shanghai, "I think I was very solid from the very first point, very similar to my performance against him in Shanghai in terms of intensity and strength in the shots and really protecting the baseline, trying to be the one that dictates the play."
Djokovic heads to next week's ATP World Tour Finals as the prohibitive favorite. The Serb has won that event each of the past three seasons.