ATP Sony Open: Andy Murray suffers straight-sets defeat to Novak Djokovic in Miami
Last Updated: 26/03/14 11:58pm
Novak Djokovic: Ended Andy Murray's title defence in Miami
Novak Djokovic ended Andy Murray's ATP Sony Open title defence and advanced to the semi-finals with a fractious 7-5 6-3 victory in Miami.
For Djokovic, a three-time winner in Miami, the victory was a small measure of revenge as the rivals clashed for the first time since Murray beat the Serb in last year's Wimbledon final.
With little separating the players throughout, the game hinged on a controversial moment in the first set, when Djokovic was leading 6-5.
"I think he (Djokovic) made a clear, legal volley and I don't think it's a call you can make on yourself. I don't blame Novak in that instance."
Leif on first set controversy
With Murray serving to stay in the set Djokovic advanced and appeared to play the ball before it passed over the net - which is against the rules and should have seen the point overturned.
The moment was a turning point and although the point stood, Murray seemed to be unable to put it to the back of his mind and lost the game against his serve, with Djokovic duly claiming the first set.
The world number two then wrapped up the second set in comfortable fashion, with Murray still discussing the controversial moment deep into the contest.
The match went on serve in the first set - although Murray had to fight to hold in the fourth game - until the controversial moment swung the momentum into Djokovic's favour.
Murray was serving to level at 6-6 when Djokovic rushed forward and appeared to hit the ball while his racquet was over the net and not on his side of the court.
Murray complained to the chair umpire but his protests fell on deaf ears, and Djokovic duly claimed the game to love to take the first set 7-5.
The Scot continued his protest in between sets but to no avail, and his Serbian opponent was on top as he quickly served to claim a lead in the second.
However, the match settled down and the two men matched each other game for game until Murray broke Djokovic in the fifth, only to suffer a break of his own serve in the very next game.
Djokovic broke again to take a 5-3 lead and served out the next game to love to claim the second set and the match 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 30 minutes.
Djokovic said: "I was not surprised about the way he played. I expected him to play well, to be a little bit more aggressive.
"I tried to not allow him to be in the comfort zone because, when he strikes the zone, when he feels comfortable on the court, he's striking the ball so well, maybe best in the world."
Regarding his dispute with the umpire, Murray said: "I wasn't sure, from where I was standing, it was a very hard thing to see.
"I knew it was close, so that's why I went and asked Novak, and he told me he was over the net. That was it.
"(The chair umpire) said, 'yes, he was over the net but he was in line with the net,' so I didn't really understand.
"It maybe had a slight bearing on that game but I was still up a break in the second set."