An exhausted Andy Murray credited his mental strength and physical freshness for his tie-break victory over David Ferrer in the Sony Open final after a gruelling two hour, 45 minute battle.
“It was a brutal, brutal match. Both of us were kind of on our last legs,” Murray told reporters after his 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 win.
“It was a good job it wasn't a best-of-five-set match, because I don't know how the last few sets would have ended up.
“It was one of the toughest matches I have had to play in a Masters Series, for sure,” added the Scotsman who will move to No 2 in the world, above Roger Federer, in Monday's latest ATP world rankings.
The match, played at mid-day in South Florida heat and humidity, became a war of attrition with neither player near their peak in terms of shot-making but both doggedly sticking at the task.
“I showed good mental strength to get through that match, because it easily could have slipped away from me,” said Murray. “It was a big match for both of us, and I think that showed in some of the way that we played.
“We didn't play necessarily our best tennis. I was up a lot and couldn't close the match out. Matches like these ones are tough, because, you know, the humidity here is brutal,” added the US Open and Olympic champion.
Murray is acknowledged as one of the sport's true fitness fanatics, spending his off-season in Miami working out but he said his physical condition at the end of the contest owed more to his scheduling.
“I think just general freshness, really. I think being fresh helped even though the tennis wasn't great,” he said.
“I just managed to get over the line in the end."
Murray up to second in world rankings
Paris: Andy 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, who defeated David Ferrer in the final in Florida, was last in that position in 2009 when Rafael Nadal stood at number one and Federer was third ahead of Djokovic.
Bhupathi, Bopanna to renew partnership
New Delhi: After pairing up with different partners in the initial months of 2013, Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna have decided to rejoin forces for the rest of the season.
The partnership will commence with the Monte Carlo Masters, beginning April 14 and probably end when Bhupathi hangs up his boots at the end of the season.
Bhupathi and Bopanna, country's top doubles players ranked 10th and 12th respectively, had teamed up in the 2012 season aiming for an Olympic medal but split for the year 2013.