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Andy Murray v David Ferrer as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

To get involved, please use 606, Twitter or text us your views & comments on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). (Not all contributions can be used. Messages will be charged at your standard operator rate)

By Piers Newbery

sarah tennis on 606: "Would suggest to Andy that he signs up for a tournament next week to get more court time rather than just practice with his mates?"

1841: "Ferrer has now won 20 matches on clay this year, more than anyone else, and this wasn't as concerning a defeat as other recent ones for Andy Murray. It was just one of those days when he was missing more than he would like but I don't think this loss should be too much of a concern."
Jonathan Overend on 5 live

Spain
Murray 3-6 4-6 Ferrer
Murray leans back and heaves a forehand several feet long and puts his next return out to take the pressure off Ferrer. The Spaniard then comes up with an error of his own for 30-15 and plays a loose forehand for 30-30, but Murray misses by some distance with a forehand return and it's match point.... and Murray nets a forehand, not for the first time today, to give Ferrer a pretty straightforward victory. He plays Tsonga next, Murray heads off to Madrid in search of wins.

Murray 3-6 4-5 Ferrer *
Murray keeps his man honest by holding serve to 15, taking the game with an ace. The Scot has got to break point three times today - now he must convert one or it's goodnight.
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* Murray 3-6 3-5 Ferrer
With the finish line in sight, Ferrer misses a couple of lines to fall 0-30 behind but Murray fails to capitalise, clipping the net and sending another forehand floating over the baseline. Game point Ferrer, and Murray finds the tramlines.
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Text in your views on 81111
1826: "Re. Amjad, 1807. Piers was making the point that being a good perso n is more important than being a champion. And the cliche about a n asty streak? No, they have to be ruthless in the game. Do you want a list of top sportspeople who have not been nasty? Ryan Giggs, Chris Hoy..."
From anon via text

It's bad news for a Briton
Murray 3-6 3-4 Ferrer *
Murray plays a brilliantly improvised backhand winner early in the game but fails to put away a regulation smash at 40-30, and Ferrer makes him pay with a winning lob. The Spaniard dominates the rally at deuce, despite another magnificent scramble from Murray, and it's break point... and Murray sticks an ace down the 'T'. Ferrer earns break point number two with a superb rally but then sends his return over the baseline. Murray tries to be too delicate with a drop volley and it's a third break point... and this time Murray's backhand slice hits the net.
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* Murray 3-6 3-3 Ferrer
A devilish Murray forehand drop shot slides along the top of the net and topples over and he has a chance at 15-30. A forehand is pulled into the tramlines, prompting a howl of anguish, but he earns a break point... only for Ferrer to come into the net and stick away a smash. Murray nets a forehand moments later and the game slips away.
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Text in your views on 81111
1807: "Piers. Are you for real? All the best sportsmen have that nasty streak that help them to success. Sad but true. It is why Tim Henman, a nice guy and good player, never won a grand slam."
Amjad, fed up at work in Saudi Arabia, via text

Murray 3-6 3-2 Ferrer *
Murray's brief golden spell of serving comes to an end at 40-0 and moments later we're back to deuce, but the Scot comes up trumps with a sharp volley to take the game.
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* Murray 3-6 2-2 Ferrer
Ferrer levels without too many problems. I'll stop going on about first-serve percentages in a minute but Ferrer is at 80% for the match. I'll say no more about it.
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CultofHandsome on 606: "Murray's serve percentage was in the 20%'s in the first set. You aren't going to win many sets with figures like that..."

Murray 3-6 2-1 Ferrer *
Murray edges ahead again with his best service game of the day, and his first-serve percentage has rocketed to 60%. Things are looking up!
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* Murray 3-6 1-1 Ferrer
Ferrer holds serve to love. It's hard to see a way back for Murray at the moment, he needs to find some inspiration from somewhere. He's not playing terribly, just not making much impression.
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Murray 3-6 1-0 Ferrer *
That's more like it - Murray moves Ferrer around on game point and fires a forehand down the line. Some bad news from Morocco, where Anne Keothavong has lost 7-5 6-2 to Alize Cornet, but a run to the quarter-finals will do her ranking some good. And world number two Caroline Wozniacki has suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury in Stuttgart, with the French Open only three weeks away.
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It's bad news for a Briton
Spain
* Murray 3-6 Ferrer
It's not the most convincing way to serve out a set but Ferrer gets there in the end, recovering from 0-30 and sealing it with a drop shot that Murray cannot make. Oh, and pottiella, I caught the last set of Gulbis and enjoyed it a lot. He's got a good enough game to threaten the top 10 but not sure if he's got the right mindset - he seems like a very nice bloke though. And that's what counts.
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Murray 3-5 Ferrer *
Apparently, Murray doesn't think his first-serve percentage is a big deal. Fair enough, but it can't help against a returner like Ferrer to be making around 30%. It's a bit like Ronnie O'Sullivan saying his form is "pathetic" after he knocks in back-to-back centuries. Federer, Messi, O'Sullivan.. not been a good week for sporting geniuses. Anyway, Murray does well to recover from facing two set points at 15-40 and forces Ferrer to serve it out.
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* Murray 2-5 Ferrer
There's a reason why Ferrer has slipped from number four in the world a few years ago to number 17 now, and unforced errors do not help. Murray plays a nice sliced backhand down the line but the Spaniard fails to deal with it. Murray earns himself a couple of break-back points but, credit to Ferrer, he battles through to get a game point. Murray comes up with an extraordinary scrambled backhand when the point appears to be done and dusted, but then swipes a high forehand well wide and it's game Ferrer. Turns out Murray had a broken string in that finally rally, so can't blame him for the miss.
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pottiella on 606: "Evenin Piers - did you catch any of the previous match, and if so, what do you make of the new and improved gulbis? Ferrer moving Andy about from side to side as expected..."

Murray 2-4 Ferrer *
Ferrer opens the game with a great volley - that's right, a volley - and Murray then fails to control a forehand after chasing down a drop shot. The Briton is making a pretty dire 27% of first serves and Ferrer naturally attacks the second serve to make it 15-40 and two break points.... and Murray nets a forehand. The Spaniard has slowly but surely taken control here.
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* Murray 2-3 Ferrer
Murray gets a sniff of a chance with some trademark defensive excellence taking him to 30-30 but Ferrer hangs on.
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Murray 2-2 Ferrer *
Ferrer's radar goes off for a couple of minutes and three successive errors hand Murray the game. Just to complete the picture for today, Novak Djokovic and Fernando Verdasco have also made it to the quarters, while Rafael Nadal takes on Victor Hanescu in the late match. Good luck with that, Victor.
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* Murray 1-2 Ferrer
There's some heavy hitting from both men and it's likely to be a punishing evening for Murray if he is to get through. Ferrer holds serve to love. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga awaits the winner, while Ivan Ljubicic could not even make it through the warm-up for his match against Feliciano Lopez because of a back problem. I feel your pain, Ljubo.
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Murray 1-1 Ferrer *
Murray levels it up but only after Ferrer sends one scorching forehand return past him. A warning, if the Scot needed it. Not much atmosphere at the moment as most of the crowd has gone for a bit of a breather after the previous match.
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* Murray 0-1 Ferrer
A beautiful drop shot and a sharp forehand pass suggest Murray is in good nick early on, but Ferrer recovers to take the opening game with a big forehand down the line.
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1701: Murray and Ferrer have met only twice before, both times back in 2006, with Murray winning on Toronto's hard courts and Ferrer on clay in Barcelona. The 28-year-old Spaniard has been in good form recently, reaching the semis in Monte Carlo and Barcelona. Murray has not been so hot, but he got back to winning ways against Andreas Seppi in Rome. Ferrer is more of a hard-courts man than clay but you can always guarantee 100% effort from the world number 17. However, he did play an evening match yesterday so he might not be at his freshest. He's also a big Barcelona fan. No-one mention Jose. Ferrer to serve...

1655: Afternoon all. Andy Murray and David Ferrer are about to get under way at the Foro Italico, with a Rome Masters quarter-final place at stake. It's a little later than expected because Ernests Gulbis - conqueror of Roger Federer in round two - has just spent the best part of three hours winning more friends in Rome by seeing off local boy Filippo Volandri.

5 live's Jonathan Overend via Twitter: "Ciao Roma - Last 16 Day! Tournie hots up... can AM beat Ferrer? Course he can! David isn't as much a dirt specialist as some of his chums."




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see also
Murray beaten by Ferrer in Rome
29 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Nadal eases into Rome third round
28 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Gulbis shocks Federer in Masters
27 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Revitalised Murray wins in Rome
27 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Murray crashes to dismal defeat
14 Apr 10 |  Tennis
Fish punishes out-of-sorts Murray
27 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Murray bows out in Indian Wells
20 Mar 10 |  Tennis
Federer ends Murray's Slam dream
31 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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