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Murray v Nadal as it happened

Indian Wells Masters 1000

Final latest:


1-6 2-6

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By Ben Dirs


"Nadal is in a league of his own! If this form continues 2009 could potentially be year he takes all four Grand Slams - I wouldn't bet against it."
Michael, Northern Ireland, via TEXT on 81111

"Well. That was about as complete a capitulation as I've seen from Murray! When he loses, he loses in style!"
Anon on TEXT via 81111

Murray 2-6 Nadal
Murray nets with his forehand - he looks like he'd rather be shovelling out a pig sty than playing Nadal in Indian Wells. Nadal outlasts Murray again, the Scot spraying a forehand long, and that's the daddy-o, Nadal outlasting Murray again and the Scot gifting the match with another ballooned forehand. That was all about brain rather than brawn, and check out the big brain on Nadal. A steely effort in terrible conditions.

"If Thor felt hungry, he used to eat the goats that pulled his chariot. Upon touching the remnants of this feast, the goats were instantly returned to full health (if the bones weren't broken during consumption). Nevermind being a crew-member on 'Deadliest Catch', who'd be one of Thor's goats?"
Cen via TEXT on 81111

Murray 2-5 Nadal
It's poker face stuff from Nadal, he could only look more unruffled if one of the ballgirls had been giving him a pedicure between games. Nadal lobs and Murray flails and misses, before the wind gets hold of a Murray forehand, brings it into court and makes it 30-30. Murray's approach isn't deep enough on the next point and Nadal has break point after a Murray volley comes off his frame. And there's another break, Murray whipping a forehand long and wide.

Murray 2-4 Nadal
Ripper of a forehand winner from Nadal and Murray looks on in disbelief, as if Nadal's just pulled a bunch of daffodils out of the back of his shorts. Too true redmorgie (see below), Murray's is being "owned", as our American cousins like to say. Nadal goes long with a forehand, but Murray puts a double-fisted backhand into the base of the net. All over Red Rover?

"I was looking forward to a great tactical match, but both of them are struggling to just keep the ball in the court. Nadal is coping with the wind far better than Murray, but it's more of a test of character than tennis ability."
redmorgie on 606

Murray 2-3 Nadal
Nadal charges the net and Murray puts an attempted pass into the bottom of the net. Nadal yanks a forehand well long before Murray completely mis-hits a backhand and Nadal pummels a forehand winner down the line. Break point... and what a point to win it! Nadal chases down a couple of volleys, Murray attempts to go down the line and Nadal lobs a winner into the open court. Gavin points out that Freyr is the Norse god of thunder, not Thor. True, but surely Thor must have been able to pull a few strings weather-wise?

Murray 2-2 Nadal
Murray is unable to cope with a body-seeking forehand from Nadal as the Spaniard races into a 40-15 lead and Murray tamely puts a forehand return into the net as Nadal holds. Someone's just sent me another chess quote: "Could we look into the head of a chess player, we should see there a whole world of feelings, images, ideas, emotion and passion". Wonder what we'd see if Murray opened his head up? I reckon it would resemble a painting by Hieronymus Bosch.

Murray 2-1 Nadal
Nadal is unable to get his body out of the way and control his forehand as Murray moves into a 30-0 lead.Murray goes well long with a forehand, but the Scot shows good patience, moving into a 40-30 lead after Nadal puts a forehand long, and Murray holds after Nadal fails to control another. Murray looking more composed.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray bunts back a backhand return, the ball gusts back into the court and Nadal puts away the cross-court forehand. Nadal is lured into the net and Murray has a chance of a pass, but puts his backhand wide. Nadal moves to 40-15 as Murray is unable to chase down a Nadal drop-volley, and the Spaniard takes the game as, once again, Murray is unable to cope with a combination of top-spin and wind.

"Murray has done nothing but complain. The people who paid money to watch him should be the ones doing the complaining - after this diabolical display."
Knowlesy on 606

Murray 1-0 Nadal
Right, can Murray put that first set to the back of his mind? Murray moves into a 30-0 lead, Nadal stretching because of the wind and booming a forehand about six foot long. And that's an easy hold to love, Nadal putting another forehand long.


Murray 1-6 Nadal
Murray looks like he's had enough in this first set - a couple of unforced errors from Murray, before Nadal goes well long with a forehand. 40-30. Murray nets with a backhand and that's the first set. Murray looks to the sky, as if to say, "how am I supposed to play in this?" Unfortunately for him, Nadal seems to be coping admirably. "Nadal is taking Murray to school out there," says Julian via TEXT on 81111.

Murray 1-5 Nadal
Nadal goes long with a backhand before whipping a forehand into the net. Murray then overcooks a forehand to make it 30-15, and another to make it 30-30. It's definitely fair to say Murray is coping less well in these conditions. Another paper bag legs it across court and a point is aborted, before Murray tamely bunts a backhand into the net. Murray getting frustrated here, and he'll be spewing now - Murray gets to a couple of volleys but Nadal lobs him to break again. Murray has a word with the umpire, presumably about the wind. Who does Murray think the umpire is? Thor?

"Both players showing good control in these windy conditions. Just get the feeling Murray is playing a bit passively at the moment."
Alex on 606

Murray 1-4 Nadal
Murray gets a net cord, which takes the pace off the ball, and Nadal, like some gecko spotting a fly, is onto it in a flash. Nadal nets with a backhand to make it 15-15. Both players having real trouble with their footwork in this wind, as Murray puts a backhand long. A cry of frustration from Murray as he frames a forehand long, and the Scot looks ruefully across at coach Miles Maclagan. Murray's best shot so far, Nadal lured into the net and the Scot punishing him with a cross-court forehand. Murray finds the net with a forehand and Nadal consolidates the break.

Murray 1-3 Nadal
"It's not a question of always playing your best move, it's a question of playing the move that's most unpleasant for your opponent," said Boris Spassky once, and to that end, drop shots and lobs are out in these conditions. Tremendous point from Murray, forcing Nadal wide with a whipped forehand before putting away the volley. Unforced error from Murray, finding the base of the net with a backhand, but Nadal then flails a forehand well wide. Murray goes for the top-spin lob, the ball hangs in the wind and Nadal puts away the smash. Break point for Nadal - Murray serve and volleys behind the first serve and pulls off two fine volleys, but he can't cope with Nadal's third attempted pass. Murray, however, saves before Nadal goes long with his forehand. Gossamer from Nadal, picking up a backhand volley off his toes and leaving Murray for dead. However, at deuce Nadal balloons another forehand wide, but Murray, pinned behind the baseline, eventually puts a backhand long to make it deuce again. Murray mis-hits a forehand - a paper bag scuttled across court in the middle of that rally, which is all a bit municipal - and Nadal breaks. Nadal goes down the line and Murray is unable to control the volley. We could be here all night.

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Nadal tries the drop-shot and Murray chases it down and wins the point. Murray puts a backhand return long - that was no more than a bunt, but the wind carried it long. These are long old rallies, it's like Fischer v Spassky out there at times. But with racquets. And sun brollies. Murray booms another forehand long, before Nadal takes the game with a wicked double-fisted cross-court backhand. Too much heat on that.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Nadal with a searching cross-court backhand followed by a fizzing forehand winner down the line. Murray nets with a backhand to make it 15-30. Lengthy baseline rally, and you can really see the ball arcing across the court in this wind. Nadal goes long with a forehand. This wind is causing havoc - Nadal goes for the lob, the ball catches and Murray pats away the overhead. Murray nets with another backhand to make it deuce. Great rally that - Murray pulls off two reaction volleys, Nadal goes for the lob, players retreat to the baseline and Nadal eventually booms a forehand long. Nadal then mis-hits a forehand return and that's a Murray hold. STOP TEXTING ABOUT VERDASCO YOU MENTALISTS!

Murray 0-1 Nadal
"Well Ben it looks like I am stuck with you," texts Richard in Stirling, which is lovely. They're talking about 50mph winds in Indian Wells, and here's Rafa to give it some hammer with that stringed cudgel of his. Murray takes the first point but he puts a forehand return long to make it 15-15. Murray mishits a return wide before Nadal climbs all over a short return and puts away a forehand winner. A double fault from Nadal before Murray loses the game with a meek forehand into the net. SORRY! Of course Murray lost to Verdasco, a lefty, at the Aussie Open. Thanks for pointing that out.

2139: On the wireless, they just said that Nadal is the only lefty Murray has ever lost to. Remarkable. Was that x for me Debs, or for everyone? Sorry, feeling a little unloved... crackerjack atmosphere out there, it's buzzing, I repeat, buzzing.

"Andy will win today. Not sure the very windy conditions will suit Moonball Man!"
Debs x via TEXT 81111

"In Charlotte airport after SXSW festival for a six-hour changover. Free internet though, so I'm following all the way. Go Andy!"
Jamie Fullerton, Stoke Newington, via TEXT 81111

2135: This event has some pedigree, and if Murray were to win it his name would be added to the honours board below Nadal, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Jimmy Connors and John Newcombe. That's some list. Players knocking up now.

2132: I just watched the end of the women's final between Russia's Vera Zvonareva and Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, and it was like they were playing in a wind tunnel. Lovely, sunny day in Indian Wells, just not one for comb-overs. By the way, Zvonareva won in straight sets. Players are out on court... the main stadium at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden holds 16,100, making it the second biggest tennis arena in the world.

2120: All right? It's Andy Murray versus world number one Rafael Nadal in the final of the Indian Wells Masters. The Scot has won the last two meetings, but those matches were on faster surfaces - the higher-bouncing Indian Wells court should favour Nadal and that vicious forehand of his. They'll be on court in about 10....

By the way, get in touch via the 606 thread above or Text 81111 with the word TENNIS before your message.

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see also
Indian Wells photos
18 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Nadal & Djokovic stay on course
18 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Nadal hits form in Indian Wells
16 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Murray returns with doubles win
13 Mar 09 |  Tennis

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