Murray makes final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:55
The British number one will face unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny after a battling 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory over Verdasco.
The Spaniard had Murray in trouble at times with his big-hitting, but the 22-year-old’s greater consistency eventually proved decisive.
The world number four needed all his defensive abilities to hold on to his first service game – while the Spaniard fired down a series of winners.
Murray was under pressure again in the sixth game as Verdasco moved to 15-40 but again he held firm, with his tactic of making his opponent put the pace on the ball proving reasonably effective.
A stunning backhand pass from Murray took him to 0-30 in the next game, and two errors from the home hope gave the Scot a surprising break. Suddenly the momentum had shifted, and more mistakes from a somewhat dejected Verdasco presented his opponent with three set-points – of which he needed only one, thanks to a double-fault.
The start of the second set provided some hope for the fourth seed, however, as Murray immediately slipped to 15-40. This time, it was the British number one’s turn to throw in a costly double-fault as he handed Verdasco his first break of the match.
Murray had a chance to break straight back but could not take it – and he then needed to dig deep to avoid going 3-0 down, Verdasco beginning to fire winners at will again. That was the case two games later as well – and this time, a tame Murray backhand into the net did give the Spaniard a double break. Three games later, he confidently served out the set to love to level the match.
Murray held firm in the opening game of the third, and it was the top seed who gradually regained the initiative. Verdasco’s level dipped in the fourth game as frustration again threatened to get the better of him, but Murray could not take advantage of four break points.
But it was a different story two games later, though, a wayward forehand from the Spaniard giving Murray the crucial break before he served out the victory.