In the year 2016 was a memorable season for Andy Murray and one of the standout moments of his campaign – and there were many – came when he beat Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final.
Murray started the year with a runner-up finish to Djokovic at the Australian Open and finished second to the Serbian at the Madrid Open in early May.
Amid his busy professional schedule, Murray became a first-time father when his wife, Kim, gave birth to their daughter, Sophia, in early February.
And being a father is certainly a plus before his May 15 court appearance – the 29-year-old – said after the game: «The last thing I looked at before I went to court today was a picture of my son. .
«That’s what I feel like I’m playing right now, so I hope you’ll be proud of what I’ve achieved in a few years.»
Sofia will no doubt be proud of what her father achieved on his birthday as he walks the Foro Italico to lift his first Italian Open title after defeating Sofia Djokovic 6-3, 6-3. Only time.
Murray started the match having lost all of his previous matches against Djokovic on clay, but broke once in the first set and broke twice in the second.
Match point came at 15-40 in game 9 and the Scot wasted no time in closing out the game.
“Every time I climb on him [Djokovic]I know I have to play a good match to win,” Murray said.
“Now I’m well prepared for the French Open. I played with Rafa [Nadal] Twice, Novak twice. You know, I didn’t win all the matches, but even in the matches I lost, I competed really well.
«[I’m] Going into Roland Garros with a lot of confidence. More than a top five, too, takes a little more physical and mental strength.
But I feel like I’m on the right track. So I hope I can have a good run there.
It was a frustrating afternoon as Djokovic lost two games before the final to lose his temper.
The world number 1 asked referee Damian Steiner to stop the match for «five minutes» so the court could be cleared, but the request was refused.
«I don’t want to play anymore!» Djokovic yelled at Steiner. «I asked not to play! Wait! There’s no score on the court, right? The lines aren’t slippery? Someone has to get hurt before you do something. I hurt my ankle three times in the last three games and you’re completely ignoring that fact!»
Steiner stood his ground and replied, «I think the court is playable.» I keep saying the court is ready to play.»
Djokovic won Wimbledon and gold in singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics, despite defeating Murray in the French Open final a few weeks later.
Following his success in London, he won the Paris Masters and the ATP Finals.