Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic for only the second time in 14 matches since the 2013 Wimbledon final to win his first Rome Masters title – a fractious, fascinating affair – and heads for Paris with every hope of creating more history in the French Open. In a compelling second set Djokovic begged the chair umpire, Damian Steiner of Argentina, to suspend play “for five minutes” to clean up a surface on which he had three times nearly tumbled heavily and which had been unreliable all week. Steiner stayed firm. Murray said nothing and, under darkening skies beyond the harsh court lights, completed a deserved and impressive 6-3, 6-3 win. No British player has won here in the Open era and archivists have to reach back to 1931 to dig out the name of George Patrick Hughes, who prevailed over the French legend, Henri Cochet, a quick 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory that presaged one of those extraordinary British droughts, the sporting counterpoint to our weather. In a rainy, cloud-covered mist that would not have looked out of place in the Scottish Highlands Murray and Djokovic played the best of three but it was surely tougher and longer than that black-and-white… Read full this story
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