Qatar Open, Doha
A MURRAY (GB) BTS S WAWRINKA (Swi)
6-4 4-6 6-2
ALL THE ACTION
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Thanks to all who tuned in and to those who dropped out, wasn't what you would call vintage Murray but he's begun 2008 in seriously impressive style. So roll on the Australian Open. Bonza.
Murray 6-4 4-6 6-2 Wawrinka
A lovely forehand volley at the net and Muzza is 15-0 up, but Wawrinka's whip-like backhand pulls matters level. Oh dear, another double fault at a very inopportune moment and it's 30-30. Murray moves to match point when Stan over-hits a forehand and he clinches his fourth career tournament title when Stan's acute backhand just lands on the wrong side of the tramline. Great game, strange game, but entertaining nonetheless.
Murray 6-4 4-6 5-2 Wawrinka
Awesome tennis from both players - a rally of 26 strokes comes to an end when Murray dispatches a forehand winner after stretching Wawrinka with a precise lob. He follows that up with the most impressive forehand cross-court winner you could wish to see. More baseline bashings and Murray suddenly finds himself three break points up. And he doesn't need a second invitation when he smashes a wonderful forehand winner down the line for a double break lead. Murray to serve for the title - surely it can't go wrong, can it?
Murray 6-4 4-6 4-2 Wawrinka
Confident start from Murray, who suddenly looks revitalised, charging to the net for 30-0, but a shoddy forehand return from Muzza and it's 30-30. But he puts that slip of the racket out of the way, charges to the net once more and wins the game.
Murray 6-4 4-6 3-2 Wawrinka
Murray just over-hits a forehand with Stan committed at the net, a point which would have given him a 15-30 advantage. Instead Wawrinka hits two big serves and finishes off matters without too much fuss.
Murray 6-4 4-6 3-1 Wawrinka
It's that forehand again, it's gone absolutely crazy. Wawrinka sends down another powerfully struck - but equally misdirected - effort past Murray's baseline. However the backhand is looking silky and helps take the game to deuce. But Murray sees the game out with a thumping serve down the middle.
"Murray will be a Lucky Man if he wins this one. After such a good week, it would be a Bittersweet Victory."
belgalex on 606 waxing lyrical with The Verve reference from 4-3 in the first set
Murray 6-4 4-6 2-1 Wawrinka
Stan's forehand is turning into a monster, he over-hits two successive forehands give Murray two break points. But Wawrinka rallies and saves the two points, yet another double fault at a crucial time hands Muzza back the initiative, only for Stan to save his skin with a thumping cross-court forehand, his seventh break point saved. Wahey! Our first Jimmy wig in the crowd, Russ Abbott will be pleased. Wawrinka surrenders break point, only for Murray to overhit a running return at the net. This game is ebbing and flowing this way and that, but two Murray unforced errors see Wawrinka win his first game of the set.
Murray 6-4 4-6 2-0 Wawrinka
It's inevitable that mistakes from both players will appear in the third set, but by jove these boys are absolutely pegging it about the court like toddlers drinking neat orange squash. Murray wins the game with another deft drop shot.
Murray 6-4 4-6 1-0 Wawrinka
Murray finally nails a lob, a shot which was seen regularly in his win over Thomas Johansson, to win the first point of the third set. And Muzza finds himself two break points to the good - and he duly converts when Wawrinka's bullet-like forehand hits the net. So the first game of the third set starts exactly like the first game of the first. is this the turning point? Your guess is as good as mine, judging by how this match has been going.
"Well done and well deserved, Stan!"
WUSCHLI on 606
Murray 6-4 4-6 Wawrinka
A sloppy double-handed backhand from Murray droops into the net, handing his Swiss opponent a useful opportunity to capitalise at 15-30. But it all goes Pete Tong when he hits a straightfoward return into the net. Another top rally sees Murray come out on top when Stan gets a little too cute with an overhead backhand volley at the net for 40-30. But the man from Lausanne fights back to deuce - and the crowd are starting to get behind him, probably because they want to see another set. More fist-pumping from Muzza, but he reels out a horrid double fault at game point. Now it's Stan's turn to give it the clenched fist after a brilliant rally which sends Murray all parts of the court. And he clinches the second set when tired-looking Murray fires wide with a forehand. Game very much on.
Murray 6-4 4-5 Wawrinka
Murray is not happy with a close call from a Stan forehand and exchanges a few words with the umpire - more like one-way traffic really. Wawrinka is taking the ball as early as possible, but his plan backfires when he mishits a forehand volley towards Dubai for 30-30. He then pulls out a double fault at the worst possible opportunity to take the game to deuce, but holds out to clinch the game.
Murray 6-4 4-4 Wawrinka
Bosh! Stan sends down a sizzler of a forehand to take Murray's service game to 15-30. But he fails to properly connect with a forehand on the run and follows that error up with another erratic forehand and Murray closes out for the game.
"He (Murray) will gain 75 points = 1830 and 9th spot, 100 points away from 8th"
Ruggers on 606 in answer to Mark's question on text
Murray 6-4 3-4 Wawrinka
Muzza is not best pleased when the umpire overrules an out call from the line judge from a Stan serve at 30-0. Another absolutely brilliant point sees Wawrinka come out on top after pulling Murray into the net with a subtle drop shot before launching a wonderful lob over his opponent's head for the game.
Murray 6-4 3-3 Wawrinka
Wawrinka fires a seemingly regulation backhand into the net for his 40th unforced error of the game. Murray serves down another fine serve to win his third successive service game to love. He's looking fairly untroubled with balls in hand. So to speak. Murray 6-4 2-3 Wawrinka
Wawrinka took up playing tennis at the quite frankly archaic age of eight apparently. Murray, who probably was given a racket when most babies are handed rattles, drills a backhand return into the net and admonishes himself for not getting the ball over the net. Stan wraps up the game with a killer first serve.
Murray 6-4 2-2 Wawrinka
Another confident effort from Murray, who wins his second successive service game to love, capped off with his first ace of the match to wrap up the game.
"If he wins, what position in the world will Muzza rise to?"
Mark, P'boro on text 81111
Not too sure Mark, but he's likely to break the top 10.
Murray 6-4 1-2 Wawrinka
Wawrinka dishes up his first double fault of the match at 30-0 up, but Murray fails to make it count when he meekly returns a backhand return into the net. Stan holds out and heads to the chair with a 2-1 lead.
Murray 6-4 1-1 Wawrinka
Nice shooting from Murray, who makes Wawrinka stretch this way and that and quickly wraps up the first service game to love with minimal fuss.
Murray 6-4 0-1 Wawrinka
Despite the fact his forehand has been dodgier than a week-old kebab, Wawrinka is still launching into the shot with gusto. Once again we see another game which goes to deuce when Wawrinka's overhit return just goes out. But really well played from Stan, who seals the opening game of the second set with an overhead smash from a defensive backhand lob from the baseline from Murray.
"I can't keep up with the FA and this game at the same time!"
arifiscool on 606
Murray 6-4 Wawrinka
Stan's suddenly got a bit of a grunt going on, but it's hardly in the same decibel league as the top screamers of world tennis. Murray's game has been rock-solid this past week, but inconsistencies are beginning to creep in just when he doesn't want them to crop up. Yet another brilliant point gives Murray a set point at 40-30 - and he clinches the vital opener with a thunderous serve wide to Stan's backhand. Strange set though, looking forward to what the second has to offer. By the way, that's the first set Wawrinka has conceded in the tournament.
Murray 5-4 Wawrinka
Wawrinka isn't the fastest of servers, but he fires down his first ace of the game at 189 kph (about 119mph). He's giving his Scottish opponent a proper good runaround and he closes out for the game. However he will need to break to stay in the first set.
Murray 5-3 Wawrinka
Murray sails to a 40-0 lead, but in this match it doesn't really mean that much - Murray had lost his previous service game with a 40-0 lead. What is it about that crucial point? A double fault gives Wawrinka a possible opportunity at 40-30, but his unpredictable forehand once again lets him down when he overhits a return. Out comes the pumped fist again. From Murray obviously.
Murray 4-3 Wawrinka
Would you believe it? Murray's only gone and broke Stan's serve, this is tres surreal. He wins the game with a stretch volley at the net and he's clearly pumped up for this as he bellows a huge "COME ON!" a la Richard Ashcroft in The Verve circa 1997.
Murray 3-3 Wawrinka
Awesome volley picked up from his toes from Murray, bit like Boris Becker in his pomp. Muzza races to 40-0 but Wawrinka gets in on the action with a beautifully directed cross-court backhand which even the fleet-footed Muzza cannot get to. He hits an equally sexy forehand winner down the line to take the game to deuce and collects a break point when Murray overhits a double-handed backhand return. Murray hauls it back to deuce but is incensed when the umpire overrules an out call from the line judge. Clearly peeved, Murray loses the next point - and the game - when Stan fires a forehand down the line. Murray throws a ball to the ground in utter disgust. So it's 3-3 and only two games have been won on serve. Who'd a thunk it?
"Some very passive rallies from both players, perhaps trying to size each other up. Stan has a better serve but andy a much better return, all makes for an entertaining match. Ps Wawrinka has a piggy nose."
Seb on text 81111
Murray 3-2 Wawrinka
Wawrinka's forehand has been a little Jekyll and Hyde this afternoon, some have been dealt with more power than a Floyd Mayweather uppercut, while others have been more misdirected than a Steve Harmison loosener. But he is slowly beginning to find some sort of rhythm and he wins his first game on serve without too many issues.
Murray 3-1 Wawrinka
Absolutely brilliant from Murray, mixing up volleys, drop shots and lobs in a 37-stroke rally at 30-15, but follows the sublime with the not very good with his first double fault of the match. Wawrinka finds himself at deuce when Murray drills a standard forehand return into the net. But Murray stands tall and fires down a powerful side wide to Stan's backhand to seal the first game won on serve. About time too.
"Come on Stan, show the world that Swiss tennis has another class player out there!"
Sebastian on text 81111
"I'm supposed to be writing an essay for my post grad but am instead keeping up to date with all football scores and Murray action. It's a tough life."
Pep on text 81111
Murray 2-1 Wawrinka
Wawrinka plays a Federer-like backhand at the net from a tame Murray defensive lob to move to 30-0. More lets, this time when a ball rolls out of Stan's pocket mid-point. the umpire warns both players that if any other unruly objects find themselves on court, there'll be no more second chances. Murray hauls it back to 30-30 but Stan slams down a thunderous serve down the middle to take a 40-30 lead. But Muzza fights back, this time with an accurate forehand, to take the game to deuce. Plenty of back and forth points as neither man can convert from advantage, Murray earns himself his third break point with a thumping forehand and duly converts it when his deceptive stop volley just trickles over the net and the scampering Stan can only find net with his return. Will anyone win a game on serve?
Murray 1-1 Wawrinka
"Doha hearts Andy" reads a placard in the stands, although oddly it's held by a man in his late 30s rather than a screaming teenager. Must be something about serving as Murray finds himself down 0-40 after a very lazy drop shot lands into the net. Murray has a massive let-off - quite literally - when his hat falls off chasing a Stan drop shot at the net and the umpire calls a let, much to Stan's amazement. But it clearly doesn't faze the 22-year-old, who hammers down a massive forehand which Murray drills into the net. Intriguing start.
Murray 1-0 Wawrinka
Nervy start from Stan, the world number 36 overhits a regulation forehand and Murray is already up three break points thanks to the most incredible recovery shot on the run which sails past the stunned Swiss. And he converts his second break point when Stan flails wide with a forehand into the tramlines. Top start for Murray.
1535: Wawrinka to serve first.
"I think it could be a very good match."
incredibleAldo on 606
1533: Wawrinka is decked out in either electric or baby blue, one for all you interior design wannabes to decide. Muzza is decked out in his standard grey shirt, white shorts and baseball cap firmly encamped over his resplendent curls.
1526: Andy's here - and the ladies are loving it. Quite a decent crowd at the Khalifa International Tennis Complex, makes a change from the empty seats from a few days ago.
"Wawrinka is the underdog coming into this match, despite having a 2-0 record over Andy...and I think Wawrinka knows it, so he'll be upping his game big time."
pottiella on 606
1523: No players on court yet, but we see a nice close-up of the trophy, the winner flies off with $170,000, not bad for a few day's work. Andy Murray's official website has some pics of him doing a few keepy-ups with a tennis ball after his win over Nikolay Davydenko:
1522: Don't leave me flying solo - get involved via your mobile (or "Handy" as they call it in Switzerland, well the German-speaking part of it anyway) by texting 81111 with the word TENNIS before your comment, or head over to the ker-razy world of 606:
1520: Stanislas is a tremendous name, it's also the name of the surly teenager from "A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian" too, if my memory serves me correct. Or was it Stanislav? Either way, great name, anyone called Stanislas/v sounds important, like they've invented magnets or discovered Neptune. Murray has never beaten Wawrinka (Stan to his mates and me) in two previous encounters, so will it be third time lucky for Muzza?
1515: Hello again, fancy seeing you here. Cheesy's currently occupied with some sort of unimportant football competition this afternoon, so you've got me to take you through Andy Murray's antics as he seeks to break his hoodoo against Stanislas Wawrinka in the final of the Qatar Open in Doha.