Murray and Nadal reach Indian Wells final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:30
It doesn’t matter what your reputation may be – make mistakes against Andy Murray and he will punish you, as Roger Federer found out in his Indian Wells semi final as the Scot prevailed with a commanding 6-3 4-6 6-1 victory on Saturday.
The 21-year-old saw off a spirited second-set fightback from the Swiss before easing through the third set to wrap up the win in under two hours, setting up a final clash against world No.1 Rafael Nadal in the final.
The Spaniard, champion in California in 2007, beat American favourite Andy Roddick 6-4 7-6(4) in the second semi-final at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
The Swiss was left to rue missed chances after squandering three break points in the fourth game of the match before Murray, who beat Federer in the last four in Doha on his way to his first title of 2009, broke twice to sweep through the first set in half an hour.
After early breaks were traded in the second, Federer broke Murray again in the seventh game after hitting a superb crosscourt forehand winner before twice holding serve to clinch the set.
But despite fervent crowd support and a raised performance in the third set Federer failed to maintain his comeback, being broken in the fourth and sixth games as a resurgent Murray completed a deserved victory to reach his third ATP final this year.
“Every time I play Roger, I feel like I got a shot to win,” said Murray, who has now beaten Federer for the sixth time in eight meetings. “That’s one of my best wins against him for sure.
“I’m playing the match how I want it to go. If I started trading big ground-strokes with someone like Federer, I think he likes that,” said the world No.4, whose modest assessment of his chances coming into the tournament following illness has now been forgotten.
“I haven’t done it against him, and I don’t do it against many people.”
Federer, who won the Indian Wells title for three consecutive years from 2004, hit a staggering 32 unforced errors to Murray’s 15, particularly from his backhand wing.
“Way too many errors today – I struggled with the rhythm,” the world No.2 admitted. “He played unbelievable in the end, and I made many mistakes.”
Australian Open champion Nadal, who has won three of the last four Grand Slam titles, broke a reborn Roddick in the seventh game before clinching the first set in 40 minutes.
With the wind picking up in the second, both players were broken twice before Nadal, who failed to serve out when leading 5-4, finally sealing the tiebreak to book a showdown with Murray.
“It was important I played better in the tiebreak,” Nadal said. “The wind was hard but that’s the reason why I had more problems having the match under control, two times the break.
“I enjoy playing tennis and being here and sure, I enjoy being in another final.”