Murray masters Karlovic to set up final fling - Tennis - Sport - The Independent

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."

Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
filmMatt Damon in talks to return
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Life and Style
tech... and together they're worth at least £100 million
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig is believed to be donning skies as 007 for the first time
Arts and Entertainment
Fringe show: 'Cilla', with Sheridan Smith in the title role and Aneurin Barnard as her future husband Bobby Willis
tvEllen E Jones on ITV's 'Cilla'
Life and Style
Bono and Apple CEO Tim Cook announced U2's surprise new album at the iPhone 6 launch
tech(but you can't escape: Bono is always on your iPhone)
Sport
Tim Wiese
sport
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week