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."

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future