Murray beats Nadal in Rotterdam final
Sunday 15 February 2009
Andy Murray beat world number one Rafael Nadal to win the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in a scrappy encounter at Rotterdam's Ahoy Arena.
Murray looked comfortable as he took the first set 6-3 but both players struggled to hold serve in the second, which Nadal won 6-4 before the Scot took advantage of an injury to Nadal's right knee to win the third 6-0 and pick up his 10th ATP title.
The 21-year-old Murray was carrying an ankle injury he picked up during his quarter-final win over Marc Gicquel, but showed little signs of early discomfort as he raced around the court before burying two forehands to take his first service game.
Nadal held before spurning his first break point to allow Murray to take a 2-1 lead. The match stayed with serve as Murray let a 0-30 lead slip to lose the fourth before he thundered an ace down on the way to take a 3-2 lead despite his second double fault of the game.
A series of unforced errors from the Spaniard gave the Scot two break points and he seized the opportunity at the second attempt when Nadal sent a forehand long to give Murray a 4-2 lead.
Murray held before Nadal found top gear to win the eighth to love but a composed Murray showed no nerves as he clinched the first set 6-3 by holding his service game to love.
The British number one carried his momentum into the second set by keeping Nadal pinned to the baseline but the Spaniard was equal to Murray's efforts and held his first service game.
Pinpoint-serving allowed Murray to level before the world number four took the third game to deuce thanks to an incredible pass after a powerful Nadal smash at the net. The Spaniard responded in a clinical fashion, however, to take a 2-1 lead.
The Spaniard received treatment to his right thigh before returning and that seemed to affect Murray's concentration as he ploughed a simple forehand into the net to allow Nadal to break.
Both players then failed to hold serve for the remaining six games of the set before Nadal clinched the second set 6-4 when Murray hit a backhand long.
Murray broke Nadal's first game in the third to love before holding to take a 2-0 lead. Nadal's right knee seemed to be causing him problems and he double-faulted on the way to allowing Murray to break again to give the Scot a commanding lead.
He won the next two games with ease before breezing past the despondent Nadal with an ace in the sixth to pick up his second title of the year.
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