Novak Djokovic outlasted Andy Murray in stifling heat and humidity to win the Masters 1000 title in Miami Sunday for the fifth time.
The world number one wrapped up a 7-6 4-6 6-0 victory in two hours 46 minutes at Crandon Park, becoming the first man in history to complete the Indian Wells - Miami double three times.
Murray, who will rise to number three in the world in the new rankings, pushed him hard in a brutal and unrelenting match, but buckled in the decider.
It was an almost mirror image of their Australian Open final earlier this year, where the Scot pulled back to two sets to one down before losing the next six games.
Djokovic has now collected 22 Masters 1000 crowns, part of 51 ATP career titles and his triumph in Australia was his eighth grand slam crown.
He joins Roger Federer in claiming the two prestigious hard court titles in California and Florida in successive years.
Djokovic beat Federer in this year’s final at Indian Wells, avenging a defeat in Dubai in February.
Clay court ambition
He will now turn his attentions to clay and his bid to dethrone Rafael Nadal and to win the French Open for the first time to complete a career grand slam.
The opening set saw Murray forcing the pace, twice breaking Djokovic to lead, but each time the Serbian hit back to negate the advantage.
Djokovic took an early lead in the tiebreak and Murray was unable to get on terms to fall a set down.
Undeterred, he stayed with the defending champion throughout the second, digging deep to hold at 5-4 then playing an inspired game on the Djokovic service, winning all four points to level at one set apiece.
But once again Murray was to find that Djokovic can be briefly down but never out and after dropping his service in a lengthy first game of the decider was always on the back foot.
It was Murray’s seventh straight loss to Djokovic, but can take heart from how hard he pushed him, with just a difference of seven in point won despite the one-sided decider.
“It was brutal,” admitted Djokovic. “I just managed to play the third set the way I was supposed to.”