MIAMI: British second seed Andy Murray won the ATP Miami Masters title on Sunday, saving a match point in the penultimate game in defeating Spanish third seed David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).
Murray’s win in the Miami Masters has pushed him back up to second in the world rankings ahead of Roger Federer and behind only Novak Djokovic.
The 25-year-old Scotsman was last in that position in 2009 when Rafael Nadal stood at number one and Federer was third ahead of Djokovic.
Murray captured his 26th career tour title, and second of the year after having taken the Brisbane crown, in a grueling two hours and 45 minutes.
“Both of us fought hard,” Murray said. “Both of us were struggling physically at the end. I was lucky to come through.”
Ferrer collapsed with a cramp two points from the finish and Murray took a stumble earlier in the final set in hot and humid conditions.
“I am tired. It was a very long match,” Ferrer said. “Andy had more at the end. Congratulations to him.”
The endurance test was the second Miami title for Murray, who also won in 2009, and among his toughest.
“It was a brutal, brutal match,” Murray said. “Both of us were kind of on our last legs. It was one of the toughest matches I’ve had to play in a Masters Series, for sure.
“It was so tough physically and mentally that you were just trying to play each point. I wasn’t thinking too much only because I was so tired.”
Murray will rise to World No. 2, bumping his way ahead of Roger Federer, while Ferrer will move past Rafael Nadal to become fourth in the rankings, both men matching the best position of their careers with the improvement.
Nadal and Federer skipped this year’s edition of the $8.5 million hardcourt event in Miami, which also included a WTA event won by Serena Williams, while World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lost in the fourth round.
Murray, who owns a home 10 minutes from the stadium, beat Ferrer, who turns 31 on Tuesday, for the seventh time in 12 career meetings. Ferrer’s only win over Murray off clay was at the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals.