Beijing, Oct 9 (IANS) Britain's Andy Murray won his first China Open tennis title, and the 40th of his career, in a 6-4, 7-6(2) showdown with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov here on Sunday.
The No.1 seed in Beijing did not drop a single set during the entire tournament, but this was not exactly the runaway victory for Murray that some might have expected, reports Xinhua.
Murray was sharp in the first set, and overcame a weak first serve to log several strong returns that allowed him to break his opponent easily and take it with little fuss.
But although the Scot displayed sound form throughout, he managed to lose control of the match at a pivotal moment when it counted in the second set.
Dimitrov was able to turn up the heat on Murray, levelling to 5-5 with a triple break point, and notching 11 points in a row without any reply from the Scot.
Murray said his opponents backhand caught him off-balance at that point, but he adjusted his play with good results.
"In that game he started slicing a lot of backhands. Threw me off my rhythm a little bit. When he started doing that in the tiebreak, and in the game at 6-5, I changed a couple of things, which worked," he said.
Thankfully for Murray, he was able to take control of the match again in the tiebreaker, and never looked back on his way to seal the victory.
Murray was also pleased with his serve, which he said came in spite of the cold conditions.
"You know, considering the conditions were fairly cold, I was still serving over a hundred miles an hour on some second serves. I felt using good variation on that shot, so I didn't give him a chance to really attack me there, that was probably the thing that I did best tonight," he said.
Dimitrov also pointed to Murray's solid serve as a major factor in the outcome of the match.
"Yeah, I think today he served pretty good the second serve. He caught me off guard I think quite a few times. Especially in the body, he was serving a lot of body serves. Sometimes he was just catching me off guard, meaning I wasn't sure which shot I wanted to hit," he said.
The win here moves Murray just 1,695 points behind Serb Novak Djokovic in ATP rankings.