In a gruelling Miami Open final, Novak Djokovic managed to extend his winning records to seven matches against the Scot Andy Murray.
The Serb overcame with 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-0 in hot and humid conditions and won his 5th Miami title.
Djokovic, 27, improves his winning streak against Murray to 18-8, and Novak will tie Rafael Nadal’s total of 141 weeks at the top of the rankings on Monday.
Murray, who will get married to his fiancée Kim Sears next Saturday, will move up from 4th to 3rd.
The Briton, 27, twice led by a break in the first set and looked to have the momentum heading into the decider, but ultimately came up short once again.
“It has been a good start to the year for me so far,” he told the crowd.
Just a couple of weeks ago Djokovic secured a win against Murray during the Indian Wells tournament, while the Briton’s last victory over Nole came in the 2013 Wimbledon final.
On the whole, Murray clearly decided it was about time to manage a different approach and attacked relentlessly from the outset, especially on the return of serve.
It goes without saying that it brought advantages, however, both men were having problems with the extremely bright Florida sunshine and the first 10 games were sealed from the same end of the court.
The Serb had finished off Murray with a love set in February’s Australian Open final and he did so once again to become the first man to win the Indian Wells-Miami double three times.
Djokovic was the fitter player from the beginning.
”It was brutal – it’s very warm,” he said. ”I was prepared for a physical battle. But it’s one thing to prepare and another thing to experience it on the court. I was expecting very long rallies and just managed to play the third set the way I was supposed to, and I’m thrilled with this win.”
”I’m not quite there with Novak yet, but I feel like I’m getting a little closer,” Murray said with a chuckle. ”I’m sorry I couldn’t make more of a fight of it in the third set. I was trying. My legs were tired and I couldn’t quite finish hard enough.”
”I don’t think that I can do a whole lot more physically to get in much better shape,” he said. ”It’s tough, because it was obviously pretty brutal conditions out there, and he was stronger than me at the end for sure.”
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray, 05/04/2015, 17:15 GMT, Match Center