Murray masters Karlovic to set up final fling

Andy Murray reached his first Masters Series final with victory over Ivo Karlovic here last night. The British No1 came through 6-4 6-4 to set up a meeting with either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic today.

Karlovic defeated Roger Federer earlier in the week but Murray, 21, looked confident throughout despite the searing heat, recovering after dropping serve early on to win comfortably. Murray clearly enjoys the pace of the Karlovic serve and has few fears about the rest of his game, saying before the match that the Croatian "doesn't return so well".

He might have had a shock, then, after earning a break point in game one only to see an ace scream past, before Karlovic made him pay with a break of his own in game two. But Murray has proved in the past that he can break his serve and he did so again, chasing down a volley to get back to 1-2.

The confidence was apparent as Murray hit a superb cross-court forehand pass followed by a sharp backhand volley on his way to breaking again for 4-3, and he drew gasps from the crowd with a stunning lob over his 6ft 10in opponent when serving out the set.

There was not much doubt who the better player was once the ball was in play and Karlovic's lifeline – his serve – looked less and less effective as Murray set about dismantling it. Murray kept up the pressure as the second set began, forcing another seven break points in the opening game with some excellent all-court play and deft lobs before clinching it on the eighth as Karlovic was forced to volley wide.

Just as the Briton appeared to be strolling to a very comfortable win, his concentration slipped and Karlovic got back on level terms. But Murray was quickly back in the groove on the return of serve, grabbing his fourth break of the match to go 5-4 up before serving out to 15.

Murray will face an altogether tougher challenge if he is to win his first title at the elite Masters Series level, which stands just below the four Grand Slams.

Like Nadal, who is guaranteed to dethrone Federer to become world No 1 this month, Serbia's Jelena Jankovic will also take top ranking for the first time on 11 August, the WTA has confirmed. The 23-year-old will replace her compatriot, Ana Ivanovic, who took top spot as recently as 9 June.

Jankovic looked to have missed her chance with a surprise loss to Dominika Cibulkova in Montreal on Friday. That defeat stopped her from taking over the No 1 position tomorrow but she will have an eight-point lead by next week.

Jankovic will have 3,620 points to Ivanovic's 3,612 on 11 August, making her the 18th No 1 in the history of the WTA Tour. "Since I was a young girl it's been my dream to become No1 in the world," said Jankovic.

"When you get older, at least one day you can say you were No1 and no one can take that away from you. You are in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour history books and it's a great achievement."

News
people Ex-wife of John Lennon has died at her home in Spain
News
Nick Clegg on the campaign trail in Glasgow on Wednesday; he says education is his top priority
peopleNick Clegg remains optimistic despite dismal Lib Dem poll ratings
Life and Style
2 Karl Lagerfeld and Choupette
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Buttoned up: Ryan Reynolds with Helen Mirren in ‘Woman in Gold’
filmFor every box-office smash in his Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. Now he says it's time for a reboot
News
people
News
Actress Julianne Moore wins the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award for 'Still Alice' during the 87th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, California
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?