Nadal beats Murray to reach Wimbledon final

Andy Murray's wait to make a Wimbledon final goes on after he was beaten in four sets by defending champion Rafael Nadal in their last-four rematch today.

Hopes that the outcome could be different to last year were raised when Murray edged a first set of tremendous quality, but the momentum swung suddenly midway through the second set and from there it was a tale of error after error from the Scot versus an opponent who did not miss.

Nadal won 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4 and goes forward to Sunday's final, where he will be looking to clinch the title for the third time in four years, this time against the man who has taken his number one ranking, Novak Djokovic.

Murray certainly began well, two aces helping him to a comfortable service hold, but anything he could do, Nadal could do better.

The fourth seed consulted the trainer at the first change of ends, perhaps still bothered by the hip flexor problem he suffered in his quarter-final win over Feliciano Lopez, but he seemed to be moving pretty well.

There was not so much as a sniff of a break in the first 10 games but it was utterly compelling, with both men producing some stunning tennis.

Murray's first real test arrived in game 11, Nadal's incredible retrieving taking him to deuce twice, but the 24-year-old held on and was rewarded with a huge cheer.

And when the top seed slipped to 0-40 in the next game, Murray had three set points. A big serve took care of the first but on the second Nadal netted a forehand to give his opponent the perfect start.

Last year the Scot had lost in straight sets, and only once in his career had he been beaten by Nadal after winning the opening set, and that was their first meeting at the Australian Open in 2007.

Murray was playing a very intelligent game, targeting Nadal's backhand and not letting him take control on his fearsome forehand, and he had another opening in the fourth game of the second set.

At 15-30, Murray had a simple-looking forehand to win the point but he missed it, and from there his fortunes quickly took a downward turn. His first sloppy service game followed, a double fault then a missed smash on break point to let Nadal back in.

The Spaniard seized his chance, breaking again when Murray dumped a backhand into the net, and he made it five games in a row to take the set.

Murray's slump continued at the start of the third as Nadal broke again to take firm control of the match. The fourth seed did well to save two break points but another error brought up a third and this time he blasted a forehand long.

He at last stopped the rot after seven games in a row for his opponent but Nadal was not giving up anything on his serve and it was Murray who was having to do all the work just to stay in touch.

The Spaniard created another break point in the seventh game, taking it with a classic forehand cross-court pass, and the set quickly followed.

A tally of 26 unforced errors from Murray and only six from Nadal told its own story, and the contrast from the end of the first set could not have been greater.

There were no shouts or angry gestures from the Scot, he just seemed unable to raise either himself or the crowd, and there was a collective resigned sigh when he dumped a forehand into the net to drop serve again at the start of the third set.

The fans tried to help their man and at last there were flickers of life as he brought up his first break point since the opening set in the fourth game.

Nadal was too good, though, and now Murray showed his frustration, flinging his cap to the grass. Another chance came and went in the flash of a Spanish forehand as Nadal held on.

That was to prove Murray's last opening and a fourth double fault brought up a first match point. Nadal had to wait, though, as the fourth seed sent down an ace, but serving it out he did not falter, sealing victory with a forehand winner.

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.

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
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