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Murray v Nadal as it happened

ABN Amro World Tennis, Rotterdam

Final result:


6-3 4-6 6-0

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By Piers Newbery

1513: Well, there we have it - title number 10 for Andy Murray, and he now has a week off having pulled out of Marseille next week to protect his slightly dodgy ankle. Both men should be in Dubai after that but Nadal must be a doubt. You can be sure of one thing though - we'll be there! Actually, we'll be in London - but keeping you up to date all the same. Until then...

Andy Murray

1512: Murray responds: "Sorry to Rafa I know he hurt his leg at the start of the second set. It shows how good a player he is - he was still managing to beat me on one leg."

Rafael Nadal

1511: Nadal makes no mention of his injury, saying: "I want to congratulate Andy for this tournament, he started the year very well." What a gent.


Murray 6-0 Nadal
Well, the Ahoy Arena is not as jovial as its name might suggest as this match peters out. But the disappointment of the home crowd will not be matched by the the Briton and his fans - he did more than enough to suggest he could have beaten a fully fit Nadal anyway.

155: "Every time there has been a break of serve I have been running down the stairs to tell my mum. This match is doing wonders for my fitness levels!"
From George, Leicester, via text on 81111

Murray 5-0 Nadal
It's a bit of a shame this, as Nadal is clearly struggling physically and drops serve very quickly again. The Spaniard is not one for quitting though and hopefully it won't take too much shine off Murray's seemingly inevitable win.

Murray 4-0 Nadal
A 'comfort break' meant I missed that game, but it didn't last long so Murray was obviously magnificent.

Murray 3-0 Nadal
Murray chases down a drop shot brilliantly on the first point and Nadal looks, dare I say it, a beaten man when he double faults for 0-40. The Spaniard has lost all seven points on serve in this set before he stops the rot with a spectacular drop volley, but a wild forehand gives up the game and surely Murray hass this one in the bag. No?

1454: "The amount of breaks in that second set leads me to the conclusion that a well known chocolate bar is giving the players bungs to fix the match as a highly elaborate advertising ploy."
Oliver from London via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 2-0 Nadal
Order is restored. Murray hammers an ace out wide for 40-15, and gets more success with a similar effort two points later. Murray is in a great position now but there is life in Nadal yet.

Murray 1-0 Nadal
Another game, another break. Normally, breaking Nadal to love would be something to shout about but it seems very run-of-the-mill now. An eighth successive break of serve, but can Murray make it count?


Murray 4-6 Nadal
In the words of Graham Taylor, what sort of thing is this? Nadal opens up with a blistering forehand winner on the run, plays a deft drop volley moments later and takes the set when Murray goes long with a backhand.

Murray 4-5 Nadal
Murray swings another beautiful cross-court backhand onto the sideline, and then scrambles brilliantly to chop a short backhand volley winner when Nadal looks certain to pass him. It's break point for Murray and, of course, he takes it. Six breaks in a row now. Blimey.

Murray 3-5 Nadal
After four successive breaks and some scrappy stuff from both men, Nadal gets a chance for yet another break with a fantastic backhand. He takes it with a backhand winner off the return, and you just cannot count out the man from Mallorca.

Meanwhile... I've just seen a text presumably bound for Radio One. Three unfortunate ladies have been sent "the long way round" by their satnav when driving from Dundee to Manchester and want Beyonce's All the Single Ladies to cheer them up. Good old Beyonce.

Murray 3-4 Nadal
It's a hard one to call now. Nadal blazes a forehand way wide to fall 0-40 behind and then buries one in the net to give up the game. Four breaks in a row and Nadal may be struggling with that knee.

Murray 2-4 Nadal
Nadal wins a superb opening rally with a wrong-footer from the baseline, gets to 30-30 with a big forehand return, and deuce with another. These are dangerous moments for Murray as Nadal fizzes a cross-court forehand to earn a break point, and the top seed converts with a smart move to the net and angled volley.

1426: "RE 1308 A toin coss eh? You may have just 'coined' new phrase!"
From Tommy in Exeter via text

Yes, yes... it has been corrected. Yank thou.

Murray 2-3 Nadal
Ouch. Murray slides and turns awkwardly when Nadal plays a wrong-footing volley at 0-30, but the Scot recovers to thump a forehand winner for 15-40 and two break-back points. He takes the first with another big forehand return that Nadal cannot handle and that could be a key moment. Then again...

Murray 1-3 Nadal
The action restarts after Nadal's medical time-out ends with the Spaniard choosing not to have his knee taped. It's Murray who looks to have come off worst from the break as he plays his loosest game so far to slip 0-40 down, saving two break points before netting a backhand. Nadal gets the break without having had to do much.

Rafael Nadal

1413: The trainer is on to attend to Nadal's right knee. The world number one takes his mind off the pain by munching on a banana.

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Umpire Smits overrules correctly for the second time in the match to help Nadal into a 30-15 lead. Nadal looks to have the game when he leaps to put away a smash at 40-30 but Murray chases it down a hooks forehand round the Spaniard and down the line. The Scot screams, the crowd cheer, I splutter my drink... it's all happening. Two points later Nadal gets another chance and this time puts away a high volley.

Meanwhile, information continues to pour in regarding Jimmy Smits and I'm no longer sure I know who I'm talking about. I'm sticking with the Matt Santos - Mohamed Lahyani lookey-likey though.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray plays a very tired looking forehand into the net to be pegged back at 30-30, and Nadal then goes to Hawkeye when Murray's next serve is called a winner. The graphic suggests he caught the line by the merest fraction and Nadal looks disgusted as he wanders up and checks for a mark. Murray holds with another big serve.

1402: "Come on andy you can do it - at work so cannot watch its so frustrating !"
From Lynda, cumbria, via text on 81111

Murray 0-1 Nadal
Nadal looks forlorn when Murray takes the first point of the second set but the top seed battles back to win a vital game to 15.


Murray 6-3 Nadal
Some fantastic, heavy forehands see Murray control things from right on the baseline - slightly reminiscent of Agassi actually - and he holds to love with no problem at all. Brilliant stuff from the Scot.

Murray 5-3 Nadal
Umpire Matt Santos.... sorry, Mohamed Lahyani.... overrules when a searing Nadal forehand winner is incorrectly called out. That's all the Spaniard needs, but he regroups to win the replayed point and takes the game with an ace. Over to Murray to try to serve out the set.

1348: "Just have to keep this going just the way it is i think he might just come through but i think Nadal is going to put in some pressure for it is over only when this guy says its over."
From ttsamuel on 606

Murray 5-2 Nadal
Having felt his way into the match with some fairly cautious stuff, Murray is hitting through everything now and has very much taken charge. He holds to 15.

1345: "Come On Murray Lets Keep Winning And Climb Up To Number One."
From Conor via text on 81111

It's good news for a Briton
Murray 4-2 Nadal
A blistering forehand down the line is too good for Nadal and the Scot again has a 0-30 lead. Nadal nets to give Murray his first break points of the game at 15-40. A Nadal trademark leaping forehand to the Murray backhand saves the first but a backhand then drifts long and the Briton is a break up. Which I'm going to flag up, quite literally.

1339: "I love andy murray!"
From alexander in edinburgh via text on 81111


Murray 3-2 Nadal
Good stuff from Murray, moving Nadal around and forcing errors before thumping an ace for 40-0. He throws in a double fault to keep things interesting but holds easily enough.

Murray 2-2 Nadal
Murray does well to hurry Nadal by attacking the second serve but he mistimes a forehand with the ball begging to be put away at 15-30, and the world number one holds. Now Murray needs to do something about a first-serve percentage of 36%.

1331: "Come on Andy, give us something to shout about in Scotland after the poor start to the rugby!"
RG, Glasgow, via text on 81111

Murray 2-1 Nadal
This time it's Murray in danger at 0-30. A deep backhand gets one of the points back and Nadal then goes wide with a backhand in a lengthy rally. A huge Nadal forehand earns the Spaniard the first break point of the day but he misses with a pass on the stretch and Murray survives.

1324: "I'm not holding out much hope for insightful updates. I just did an image search for the umpire (see 1308) and he looks nothing like Jimmy Smits!"
From Sam, Edinburgh, via text

I'm very much talking Smits as Matt Santos in the West Wing.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray finds an incredible angle with a cross-court backhand on the first point and a disbelieving Nadal goes to Hawkeye, which says the ball landed smack on the line. The Spaniard is in a bit of trouble at 0-30 but finds some huge topspin forehands to win four points in a row.

Murray 1-0 Nadal
A thumping forehand return from Nadal, a smooth Murray ace down the centre - it's high quality stuff from the start. At 30-30 Murray is unlucky with a Hawkeye challenge on another serve down the middle but he recovers with a blistering forehand winner and goes on to hold.

1312: "Hoping for a classic today, a repeat of the US open meeting last year or Abu Dhabi this year would be just fine! If Murrays ankle is ok, I think he might just edge it."
From Alex_tree on 606

1311: "Piers, is Andy limping?"
Phil, Baker St, via text on 81111

Good news, the Scot has successfully negotiated the knock-up.

1308: Nadal sprints out in his usual style for the coin toss with Murray and Jimmy Smits lookalike, umpire Mohamed Lahyani. Murray comes into the final having struggled with a slight ankle injury in his last two matches but he seems OK so far.

1303: The players enter the Ahoy Arena to a rapturous reception. I once watched the final of the Dutch University korfball championships at the Ahoy Arena. Happy days.

Andy Murray

1300: So here we go - Andy Murray lines up against world number one Rafael Nadal in Rotterdam with the rather clumsily-named World Tennis Tournament title up for grabs.

It's the seventh time the pair have met on the tour, with the Spaniard leading 5-1 but having lost last time out in the US Open semi-finals, as well as in a highly competitive exhibition match in Abu Dhabi in January.

Nadal did follow that up with a his sixth Grand Slam title at the Australian Open though, so he's not in bad form.

see also
Murray & Nadal through to final
14 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Ancic as it happened
14 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Gicquel as it happened
13 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray overcomes battling Seppi
12 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Seppi as it happened
12 Feb 09 |  Tennis
Nadal grinds out Rotterdam win
11 Feb 09 |  Tennis

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