Britain’s Andy Murray defeated Spain’s David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) in a gruelling Miami Masters final on Sunday to move above Roger Federer to second in the world rankings.

Murray was far from at his best against a dogged Ferrer, but won the tie-break comfortably 7-1 after surviving a scare when the Spaniard had match point at 6-5 up, with Murray serving, in the third.

Murray’s forehand landed close to the line and he faced a challenge from Ferrer, but the ball was shown in and the Scot won the next two points to force the tie-break.

The match was littered with errors, particularly in the third set when neither player could hold serve in the first six games.

Enthralling duel

But it was an enthralling duel in the mid-day heat at Key Biscayne with neither player flinching as they scrapped to the end.

“It was such a tough match, it could have gone either way, both of us were struggling physically at the end,” said Murray whose victory was his second at Miami following his triumph in 2009.

“It’s so tough against him. He has a great attitude, he’s a great fighter. I am sure we will have more tough matches in the future,” added the Scot.

“I am tired. It was a very long match,” Ferrer said. “Andy had more at the end. Congratulations to him.”

The victory was Murray’s ninth in a Masters 1000 series event.

Nadal and Federer skipped this year’s edition of the $8.5 million hardcourt event, which also included a WTA event won by Serena Williams, while World No. 1 Djokovic was ousted in the fourth round.

Murray, who owns a home 10 minutes from the stadium, beat Ferrer, who turns 31 on Tuesday, for the seventh time in 12 career meetings.

Ferrer’s only win over Murray off clay was at the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals.

The result: ATP Miami Masters: Men: Final: Andy Murray bt David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1). —

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