Young guns blaze past Feds and Nadal
Originally published on 26/02/10 11:17
Andy Murray buried his New York demons as he beat Roger Federer in three sets to reach the final of the Madrid Masters. The world No.4 won 3-6 6-3 7-5 and will face Gilles Simon in tomorrow’s final.
The victory was Murray’s third in five against the thirteen-time Grand Slam winner, who won their last meeting in the US Open final in September.
Federer, who passed Pete Sampras as the top bread-winner in men’s tennis history by reaching the semis this week, took the first set after sealing a solitary break in game six. It was the first set the Scot had dropped all week.
But Murray responded with a superb serving display, claiming the second set after breaking in game 4 – again the only break of the set.
After failing to convert six break points during the final set as Federer clung on, Murray survived a scare of his own at 5-4 down, before he broke the Swiss for a decisive 6-5 lead and served out the match.
“When Roger gets ahead he plays really aggressive, he plays with a lot of confidence and he really races through his service games,” Murray said. “I was lucky in the second set, I managed to go ahead early and relax a bit from there.
“I had to try and take my chances, which is tough against him because he plays so well on the big points. I served great, and that was the key. I didn’t give him too many chances and that was the reason I won.”
Federer was similarly impressed with Murray’s game. “I thought Andy served very well and returned much more comfortably than at the US Open. He did well to hang in there and it was a close match.”
But while Murray might have ignored the form book, Gilles Simon tore it up as he knocked world No.1 Rafael Nadal out in his own back yard. The Frenchman stunned the Spanish crowds as he claimed a thrilling 3-6 7-5 7-6 victory.
Simon took almost 3 and a half hours, saving 17 break points along the way to record his first victory in three meetings against the Spaniard.
Although Nadal won the first set comfortably, the world No.16 refused to be overawed by his groundstrokes, going toe-to-toe with the Spaniard from the baseline.
The two slugged it out for one high-class rally after another before the Frenchman eventually levelled the contest.
Nadal broke to lead in the final set, but Simon immediately broke back and broke again to serve for the match. But Nadal refused to go down without a fight, and broke to stay in the match.
But the French Open and Wimbledon champion was outfoxed in the deciding tiebreak. Simon clinched a place in the final on his second match point after a Nadal forehand was confirmed long by Hawkeye.