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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Saturday, 18 April 2009 15:19 UK

Murray v Nadal as it happened

Monte Carlo Masters

Semi-final result:


6-2 7-6 (7-4)


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111 with the word TENNIS before your message. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Piers Newbery

1754: Technically speaking, we should have a 'Brit down' graphic but that would be harsh after a fantastic effort from both players. The best man won today and Nadal remains an overwhelming favourite to win everything on clay but Murray has given everyone else the tiniest sliver of hope. Nadal will now face Djokovic in Sunday's final.

Brooklyn Decker

And once more, congratulations to Andy and Brooklyn.

1753: "That was really quite good."
BBC Sport's Caroline Cheese via text on 81111

1753: "Really good match, Nadal deserved to win but Murray might get closer to beating him on clay if he keeps improving in the next few tournaments."
From Dan2700 on 606

1752: "Im not sure my hangover can cope with this. Whoever said Murray doesn't have enough power to challenge on clay appears to be quite wrong."
From Nightmair via text


Murray 6-7 (4-7) Nadal
A brilliant off-forehand catches the line for 3-0 and Nadal gives it some classic fist pumping as he looks to close this out. Murray responds with an amazing cross-court backhand and a big forehand behind the Spaniard to get back on serve, but then lets a backhand go long and changes round trailing 4-2. Murray stays in touch with a 'big-serve-big forehand' combination before Nadal takes what could be the key point - an epic rally ends when he arrows a forehand down the line.

It's not over yet though... Murray leans into a screamer of a forehand, breaking a string in doing so, and we're back on serve. And there's more brilliance as Nadal pulls a terrific backhand across the court to move to match point number two... and Murray nets to put the Spaniard through. A great match in the end and the last half hour was spectacular from both men.

Murray 6-6 Nadal
That's as good as we have seen from Murray today as the Scot looks completely revitalised, sweeping to 40-0 with some all-court play. Nadal hits back, firing a vicious forehand into the corner for 40-30. Murray holds firm though, moving his man around and putting away a smash. Tie-break time...

Murray 5-6 Nadal
Nadal gets back on track with a solid hold to 15, wrapping it up with a smash and clenching his fist in celebration. He knows he's in a battle now, at least.

Murray 5-5 Nadal
Murray is hammering away at the Nadal backhand with some joy, but Nadal gets a lucky net cord at 15-15 and is able to crunch away the next forehand. The defending champion cannot control a backhand on the next point and it's 30-30, before Murray plays a slightly strange forehand winner that completely dies before it gets to Nadal. Murray levels it up and the crowd are well and truly into this now.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 4-5 Nadal
Murray puts a bit of pressure on with a wonderful cross-court backhand winner for 15-15. He then hammers a huge forehand down the line before Nadal hits a great drop shot that has Murray screaming at the sky, but the Spaniard goes wide with a difficult high backhand volley and we're at break point.... but Nadal saves it with a wide serve and winning forehand. Deuce, and Murray forces Nadal to go long with a backhand. Break point number two... but Murray pulls a forehand wide. He does the same again at deuce and finally Nadal has a match point.... Murray saves it with a superb drop shot after an epic rally.

Break point number three... and Nadal breaks a string on his first serve. Bad timing, that. We get some old skool moonballing before Murray finally swats away a forehand at the net and he's broken back! Extraordinary game.

Murray 3-5 Nadal
Murray goes for a big forehand at 15-15 but sticks it into the net. He has another go on the next point and this time follows it up with a sharp forehand volley for 30-30. Some heavy forehands then take Murray to game point and he seals it when Nadal misses with a backhand. Can Nadal handle the pressure of serving out for the match? Well, probably, yes.

Murray 2-5 Nadal
Nadal is not about to ease up. He leads 30-0 when Murray fires a cross-court forehand as much in frustration as anything that apparently clips the line. Nadal has the umpire down to check it but the Scot gets the call. An error follows from Murray and he screams "concentrate!" At 40-15 down, the Briton brings Nadal in and manages to hook a brilliant backhand around the Spaniard - so good, Uncle Toni is applauding in the stands. He's not so happy when Rafa is pegged back to deuce, but Murray lets him off the hook with two tired-looking errors.

Text in your views on 81111

1655 : "Heard they are giving odds of 10-1 that he'll win all 4 majors but this is already discounting the french."
From anon via text on 81111

Murray 2-4 Nadal
Murray is straining every sinew just to try and hold his service games. He plays a flamboyant backhand volley to go 30-15 up and then leaves the ball when a similar chance arrives on the next point. Nadal's backhand floats gently alongside the tramline and Murray gets away with it.

Murray 1-4 Nadal
It's not just Murray who won't be enjoying this, the rest of men's tennis must already be coming to terms with six weeks of battling for second place. Nadal is steadily increasing the pace and power, and Murray is barely in the camera shot half the time as he scrambles around miles behind the baseline. The world number one holds to 15.

1644: "Piers andy might be good. But not as good as four aces. Id take three and an unforced error. Not looking good though."
From Andrew, edinburgh, via text on 81111

1644: "Lets just see how it play out (16.32), I hear Nadal's pretty good ;-)"
From anon via text on 81111

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 1-3 Nadal
It's 30-30 and we get one of the best rallies of the day.... Murray comes to the net, Nadal throws up a good lob, Murray plays a backhand smash, Nadal goes for the pass, Murray plays a fantastic lunging volley. Unfortunately for the Briton, he follows up with two errors and it's break point for Nadal.... but Murray saves it with a good serve. The pressure tells in the end though and two more Murray errors give up the game.

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Nadal misses with a forehand and double-faults to fall 15-30 behind. However, he then wallops a smash and Murray just falls short with an attempted drop shot and Nadal comes through.

1632: "Murray to come back and beat Nadal 2 sets to 1."
From anon via text on 81111

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray opens with an ace, which must feel good. The Scot then moves 30-0 up when Nadal goes wide with a big forehand after battling his way back into the rally. A deft drop shot makes it 40-0 and Murray then goes for the old 'big serve-big backhand' combination to seal the game. Easy.

Murray 0-1 Nadal
Nadal holds to love in almost total silence as the crowd appears to have collectively decided that this one is done and dusted. They could be right.

Text in your views on 81111

1626: "Shame to see murray struggling at such an early stage. Looking forward to second set comeback :d"
From sam, kingston upon thames, via text on 81111

1624: Murray served at 47% in the first set, with no aces, and he must improve those stats to stand any chance. To about 100% and four aces per game.


Murray 2-6 Nadal
At 15-15, Nadal has Murray absolutely haring into the net to collect a drop shot and the Briton can only just get it back, allowing Nadal to noncholantly flick it into the open court. Moments later we're at 30-30 and Murray rightly attacks the net but plays a howler of a volley, dragging it well wide with the open court gaping. It's set point for Nadal.... and Murray goes long with a backhand after being pushed behind the baseline.

Brooklyn Decker

1618: "Exquisite use of the Brooklyn Decker picture. Can i suggest you make it the new 'downwards union jack arrow' i feel we will be seeing a lot of that."
From George via text on 81111

Murray 2-5 Nadal
No sign of the break back here as Nadal holds easily enough, taking the game to 15 before marching back to his chair. He's all business, Rafa.

Text in your views on 81111

1615: "I was hoping that Murray could at least take a set off Nadal today but Nadal just looks far too good on clay. I think those betting on Nadal not losing a match on clay this season are onto a winner!"
Sean, Aberdeen, via text on 81111

1612: "Got to love a bit of impartial commentary. 4 terrible unforced errors from nadal equals 'great stuff from murray?'"
Phil, oxford, via text

- Fair enough, but if you break Nadal's serve at any stage here I think it's pretty great.

Murray 2-4 Nadal
Nadal absolutely creams a backhand winner down then line on the opening point, a real screamer. At 0-30, Murray finally decides to come into the net... and gets passed. But he has another go and angles away a volley before firing a winner for 30-40, and Nadal floats a slice long as Murray hauls himself back to deuce. Nadal dominates the following rally but goes wide with a cross-court backhand, before stopping the rot with a whipped forehand down the line. Murray takes the game after Nadal misses wide and then fails to make a return. A big escape that has kept the set alive.

The sun is out

Murray 1-4 Nadal
Murray has a couple of worrying glances at his blistered hand and doesn't move for a Nadal drops shot as the Spaniard holds to love. The world number one is very much in charge now. Still, the weather's nice.

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 1-3 Nadal
Murray hits the spot with a sharp drop shot and Nadal dumps a forehand return into the net - he's looking a bit flat just at the moment. The Spaniard's forehand retains its vicious topspin, however, and coupled with the blustery wind it's proving difficult for Murray to handle. Two mishits leave the Briton at 30-40, and Nadal pummels a couple of forehands before angling away a fine smash.

It's good news for a Briton

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Nadal goes long with a forehand on the first point and swats the ball away in anger. A second truly unforced error follows and this could count as a crisis for Nadal on clay - two in a row. Murray then has a half-chance but snatches at a backhand. It looks like business as usual when Nadal pins Murray into the corner with a superb backhand but he thumps the resultant smash over the baseline and it's 15-40... and Nadal goes long with a sliced backhand. Great stuff from Murray.

It's bad news for a Briton

Murray 0-2 Nadal
It's hard, hard work playing against a man who makes virtually no mistakes, and Murray knows he is going to have to hit winners today. He does so beautifully for 30-0, working a space behind Nadal and firing a forehand into the corner. However, the Briton then makes two errors - I really can't call them unforced in rallies of that quality - and it's 30-30. An attempted drop shot from Murray is poor, though, and Nadal cleans up the point easily enough. Break point.. and Murray fires in a big first serve to save it. Deuce, and Murray leaks a forehand just wide to give up another break point... and the Briton goes long to fall a break behind.

Murray 0-1 Nadal
That knock-up seemed to go on forever but here we go, Nadal to serve... and the Spaniard has his man on the run from the start, pushing Murray back with some heavy topspin before delivering a killer drop shot for 30-0. Nadal then catches the net cord before Murray wins a fabulous long rally with a huge forehand down the line. It's 30-30, and Nadal steps into the forecourt and thumps away a heavy forehand before a big serve seals an entertaining game.

Brooklyn Decker

1535: Far away from the French Riviera, apparently Andy Roddick got married to fiancee Brooklyn Decker yesterday at a "twilight ceremony" in Austin, Texas. That's Roddick and Federer in the last week - who's next, eh?

1528: Murray wins the toss and will receive serve. I'm pretty sure he says to the umpire that he tried playing with a bandage on his hand in practice but it "kept coming off". The Scot was suffering with blisters in his quarter-final win over Nikolay Davydenko.

1526: Murray and Nadal make their way onto Court Central and it's fair to say Nadal gets a bigger cheer, but then it's his manor isn't it? The winner here will face Novak Djokovic in the final after the Serb came back to beat Stanislas Wawrinka 4-6 6-1 6-3 - a defeat would have seen Djokovic lose his world number three ranking to Murray.

1524: "Can't see Murray winning this one, but given that his stated aim is to get to quarters and semis of clay court tournaments I don't suppose he'll be too disappointed with his performance."
From ArmchairEmma on 606

The sun is out

1520: Afternoon all. Ignore the sunshine, draw the curtains, pour yourself an isotonic sports drink and get ready to see if Andy Murray can top everything he's managed in an already superb year by conquering the biggest challenge in sport..... no, not beating Phil Taylor at the Circus Tavern, but defeating Rafael Nadal on clay.

The Spaniard is the world number one, four-time French and four-time Monte Carlo champion and undefeated at the two most prestigious arenas in clay-court tennis.

Murray is the world number four, the winner of more titles than any other man this year (three), and regarded by many as the second-best player in the world on current form.

Nadal holds a 6-2 lead in career meetings and thrashed Murray last time out in the Indian Wells final last month, but Murray had won the previous two, plus a highly competitive exhibition meeting at the start of the year. Their only meeting on clay came in Hamburg last year and Nadal won 6-3 6-2. So there you go...

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Monte Carlo photos
17 Apr 09 |  Tennis

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