Well done everyone - you were magnificent, Murray was back to his best, Nadal was as enjoyable as ever, I still have things to work on for the final. Rest assured I will be back on Sunday evening though, when Murray will take on the winner of the late match between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. Until then...
Murray 6-3 6-4 Nadal
Nadal has a shocker on the first point, presumably the wind caught it, and in a trice finds himself at 0-40 and three match points for Murray
... OK, let's gloss over the first (a Murray howler) as the Briton takes the second with a big first serve. A fantastic win that gives Murray the chance to defend his title in Sunday's final, and guarantees he will remain fourth in the rankings - which will be significant at the US Open later this month.
* Murray 6-3 5-4 Nadal
I can report that the Murray wobble was brief. He plays three brilliant, aggressive points to get to 0-40 and three break points
...but steers a forehand long after chasing down a drop shot, before Nadal's power saves the second... but Nadal nets a backhand on the third! Murray to serve for the match.
From richardcalvin on Twitter:
"I'm suited up ready for my NASA space craft to take me into orbit but have asked to delay the launch so as to cheer on Murray! "
From patacacia on Twitter:
"Brad Gilbert (I *think*) just said on the ESPN commentary that he thought Tim Henman would be a great coach for Murray. "
Murray 6-3 4-4 Nadal *
The wheels haven't exactly come off for Murray but he's struggling to find first serves now, while Nadal is looking and more threatening. Two break points for Nadal
.... he goes long with a backhand under pressure on the first, and Murray pulls a brave forehand down the line for deuce. He manages a first serve on game point, cue "C'mon!!!!" A huge hold but Murray is serving at 39% in this set though, not nearly good enough.
* Murray 6-3 3-4 Nadal
Nadal goes wide on the opening point and Murray bamboozles him with a cute backhand drop-shot for 15-30, before clipping the tape with a forehand and screaming into the warm, blue, uninterested sky. Yes... anyway, Murray sends a return long and Nadal sees out the game to move ahead.
From Lee in Switzerland via text:
"Here's hoping it will be a Murray Feds final and it gives me something to gloat about to my all my work mates - well, everyonehere really!"
Murray 6-3 3-3 Nadal *
Nadal plays the shot of the day - a stunning forehand down the line that Murray challenges, only to see Hawkeye plant the ball squarely on the junction of tram and baseline. Nadal gets to 15-40 and two break points
.... Murray plays a terrific forehand to save the first, but Nadal whips away a forehand of his own on the second and leaps into the air in celebration. And then does a few fist pumps. You know the drill.
* Murray 6-3 3-2 Nadal
That's more like it from Nadal as he gets to 40-0 with some ease, but he then double-faults for the first time today and goes long to find himself under pressure at 40-30. Murray plays a brilliant forehand down the line with a Sampras-like flourish on the follow-through and it's deuce. Nadal hangs on but that's all he can do right now.
5 live's David Law on Twitter:
"Murray playing beautifully. Perfect tactics. Is there an argument for maintaining status quo and eschewing a big-name coach?"
Murray 6-3 3-1 Nadal *
Even if Jared is making it up, that's worth publishing just for the effort and imagination (* which is not an open invitation to make stuff up
). Murray moves to 40-0 and cracks down an ace and, dare I say it, Nadal looks a bit deflated by all this.
From Jared, somewhere between Atyrau and Aqtobe, Kazakhstan, via text:
"Following this match on mobile internet after my car broke down in the middle of the desert driving through Kazakhstan with some friends. En route from London to Mongolia. Can anyone beat that sort of dedication?"
* Murray 6-3 2-1 Nadal
Murray is the man dictating things right now, a sliced forehand on the stretch proving too much for Nadal as he recovers from 40-15 down to deuce. Nadal then snatches at a short forehand and sends it into the tramlines, break point Murray...
but he just clips the tape with an attempted backhand pass. Deuce again, and Murray sets up the point with a vicious backhand slice, break point number two
... epic rally, has my stomach in knots, and Murray cracks with a forehand into the tramlines. He comes storming back though with more heavy forehands and it's break point three
... and this time Nadal finds the tramlines! Murray a set and a break up.
Murray 6-3 1-1 Nadal *
Murray plays a breathtaking drop shot on the run at 30-0 that even the super-quick Nadal cannot get back and sees out the game to 15. The Scot is apparently only serving at 45% so far but it feels a lot better than that. Loud groans from
my golf-loving colleague Ben Dirs.
I'm worried he's his bet his mortgage on a random American golfer.
* Murray 6-3 0-1 Nadal
Nadal gets off to a good start in the second set with a love service game, wrapping it up with a rather awkward looking drop volley.
From anon via text:
"It was the US Open last year that i 1st started following tennis on the text - i went to bed when Fed was 1 set up and (when i found out next morning) was about to lose the big point at end of the 2nd set. I've learnt to stay to the end now. Nearly 1 year later, my wife's at work, children in bed, just me , my phone and you guys."
Murray 6-3 Nadal *
That's how to serve out a set, almost. Three aces in a row take Murray to 40-0 and three set points
.... and then he double-faults. No matter, a blistering forehand into the corner does the job and the Briton takes the set after 49 minutes.
* Murray 5-3 Nadal
All appears calm as Nadal moves 30-0 clear but Murray steps up the 'heat' (tennis-speak for 'power') on his forehand to get back to 30-30, then draws Nadal into the net and brings an error for break point
.... a huge rally of big hitting follows and it's Nadal who breaks down, netting a backhand and looking pretty furious about it. Murray will serve for the set.
Murray 4-3 Nadal *
Nadal looks dangerous at 0-30 and, after a Murray ace, the world number one sends a backhand return right to the Scot's feet, prompting a backhand error. It's 15-40 and two break points for Nadal
... Murray saves the first with a big, brave forehand and the second when Nadal cannot handle a heavy slice. Deuce, and Murray challenges a call when everyone knows his backhand went wide. Taking a rest, maybe. Anyway, it works as Murray comes through the longest game of the match so far.
From NadiaKamil on Twitter:
"I'm on the train to Edinburgh, due in at 9.30pm so I'm hoping Andy can win it by then as I have to be on stage at 10pm."
* Murray 3-3 Nadal
Nadal crunches down a smash for 30-0 and then forces an error with a backhand down the line for 40-0, but a couple of errors under pressure see the Spaniard pegged back only for Murray to send a forehand long on the third game point.
Murray 3-2 Nadal *
Good, aggressive stuff from Murray has Nadal struggling to find any rhythm and a fourth ace of the day seals another solid hold for the Briton.
* Murray 2-2 Nadal
A beautiful volley into the corner behind Nadal gets Murray to 30-30, and he then plays a magnificent point - dragging Nadal all over the place to force the error and earn break point
... but the Nadal forehand saves the world number one and we remain all square.
From anon via text:
"Though i am roger federer fan to the core, i expect andy murray to win tonight in 3 sets."
From Im_Partial on Twitter:
"Wondered where you were hiding. Would be great if Andy can win it, but Nadal has been very strong this week."
Murray 2-1 Nadal *
There are strange sounds emanating from this desk - I'm purring at a Nadal backhand down the line while three feet away
my colleague Ben Dirs keeps shouting at golf
- golf! No such distractions for Murray, who seals a tough game from 30-30 with a thumping forehand.
From Phil, Baker St, via text:
"This could be close. Muzza has a chance. If he starts well, i think he'll do it. C'mon Murray! Type ur text quickly Piers, no pics here..."
* Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray opens up the court with a cross-court backhand on the first point but then fluffs the volley. The Briton gets Nadal on the run several times but the Spaniard gets out of trouble each time with some trademark heavy hitting.
Murray 1-0 Nadal *
Nadal wins the toss and elects to receive. Here we go... and Murray opens with a double-fault, responds with an ace and sees out the game comfortably. A good start from the Scot and a packed crowd is certainly up for this, there's been whooping already and I predict hollering any minute.* denotes server
Evening all. In such a busy sporting week it could have been easy to miss the late-night tennis far away in Toronto, but Andy Murray made sure of grabbing his own chunk of the limelight with
a stellar performance against David Nalbandian on Friday.
That set up tonight's clash with world number one Rafael Nadal. If you feel the urge to discuss this matter then
text me on 81111
(UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) with TENNIS before your message, or pass on your thoughts through
Don't feel obliged though.