It is a tenth title of the year for the world number one, and the gulf in class between him and world number two Murray was at times frightening. “I am obviously very proud and very happy to win this title again, it’s a great tournament and all the best players in the world were here,” Djokovic said at the court side.
Djokovic broke early on in the match, and while Murray almost broke back the world number one held firm, going on from there to win the first set without breaking sweat. The Serb broke early in the second set, and for Murray a similar crushing defeat seemed on the cards as he suffered against Djokovic at the Shanghai Masters semi-finals recently.
Instead, Murray dug deep to break back with his finest spell of the match, then holding to consolidate after a brutal deuce game on his own serve. The purple patch went, however, as the unforced errors that dogged Murray’s efforts once again crept back in.
Djokovic broke Murray easily to go 4-3 ahead, and then served out the match to improve his recent record against Murray to 10 out 11 wins. Murray will be consoled to an extent by the fact that the scoreline was closer than it was in Shanghai, where he won just four games. But the gulf in class and consistency between the top two players in the world was at times genuinely shocking, considering how smooth Murray’s progress to the final had been.
Djokovic will be an overwhelming favourite to wrap up the year with another win at the O2 in London next week. Should he do so, then there will be no more doubt that he has just enjoyed the greatest season of any male player in the open era.