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Page last updated at 17:45 GMT, Saturday, 14 May 2011 18:45 UK

Murray v Djokovic as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times BST)

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By Sam Sheringham

2245: All that remains for me is to thank you for all your texts and tweets during that truly absorbing three hours of tennis and to point you in the direction of Elizabeth Hudson's match report. Goodnight.

2241: So Djokovic won that match despite being broken five times by Murray. He is closing in on John McEnroe's 1983 record of 42 matches unbeaten from the start of the season.

Twitter
Batesonboy on Twitter: "Djokovic will hit a brick wall tomorrow against Nadal. Credit to both players for bringing an outstanding game to the court."

2232: And you'll be able to follow that final at the Foro Italico right here with us from 1500 BST tomorrow as Nadal bids for a sixth Italian title in seven years and Djokovic looks to take his winning streak to 39.

2228: I have a feeling Rafael Nadal will be a very happy man to have seen Novak Djokovic forced into an epic match of more than three hours by Andy Murray. Djokovic has beaten Nadal in all three finals they have contested this year, but it would take a monumental effort to make it four tomorrow.

Text in your views on 81111
Anonymous via text: "Who cares that he lost? Let's just appreciate Murray's amazing talent and his world-class performance tonight. British tennis is so lucky to have him."

Twitter
warriorlatic on Twitter: "Murray had Djokovic in his sights and then he was blasted away! What does Murray have to do to beat this guy?"

2220: Wow, that really was a brilliant tennis match. It ebbed and flowed this way and that with Murray looking outclassed early on, only to take the second set and seize the initiative in the third. But winning is a habit and Djokovic simply refused to be beaten. Having appeared dead on his feet at times in the decider, he summoned something from somewhere to keep Murray at bay and raised himself when it really mattered in the tie-break. Djokovic has now won 38 matches in a row, including 36 since the start of 2011. Phenomenal.

Murray 1-6 6-3 6-7 Djokovic
Murray does all the hard work and looks certain to win the first point against the serve before horribly dumping a routine volley into the net. Djokovic gets the mini-break from the very next point and the Serbian doesn't look back as he storms into a 5-1 lead. Murray stems the tide with an ace but a sublime lob gives Djokovic four match points. He only needs one as Murray can only get the frame of his racket to a drop shot and the ball finds the net. The victorious Djokovic roars with delight!

NOVAK DJOKOVIC BEATS ANDY MURRAY 6-1 3-6 7-6 TO REACH ROME MASTERS FINAL

Murray 1-6 6-3 6-6 Djokovic
It's 15-15 and this feels like a pivotal point as Djokovic hits hard and races to the net. Murray lobs but it is long. Just like his opponent though Murray is refusing to entertain the concept of defeat as a huge first serve earns him parity. The next point is a classic and Murray looks beaten, until he leaps like a salmon and connects with a brilliant volley across the court. Djokovic takes it to deuce but Murray digs deep to force the tie-break.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Nashy, Leeds, via text message: "Clapping out loud in the library at Leeds to strange looks from fellow students, sensational from both players."

Murray* 1-6 6-3 5-6 Djokovic
Rally upon rally upon rally. Murray looks the sharper early on as he takes a 30-0 lead. But Djokovic seems to have forgotten how to lose as he shoots from the hip to win four straight points and take the lead in the decider.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 6-3 5-5 *Djokovic
Djokovic takes a swing at a forehand but the ball sails long to get Murray on the board first. Oooh, that is so lucky for the Djokster as a backhand crawls along the net before landing on Murray's side. Djokovic goes long again to put Murray within two points but an untimely double fault levels it up. Djokovic is on the offensive now, driving Murray further and further behind the baseline to grab a break point. Murray saves it, and another, but Djokovic keeps on coming and Murray hands his opponent the break with another double fault. FIVE GAMES ALL.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 6-3 5-4 Djokovic
This game is crucial and both players start to look a little nervous, with some uncharacteristic mistakes. Djokovic pushes a backhand wide to give Murray a whiff at 15-30 but the Scot cannot capitalise and two unforced errors give Djokovic a 40-30 lead. Murray then executes a superb point to take it to deuce and brings the Serb to his knees with some brutal hitting to give himself a break point. Djokovic saves it with a big first serve but Murray refuses to lie down, gobbling up a second serve to force another break point and scampering all around the court to keep the ball in play until Djokovic finally goes long to put Murray on the brink.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 6-3 4-4* Djokovic
Was that the commentator's curse I just gave Murray? The British number one gets a little careless as two forehands go long to give Djokovic a 30-0 lead. Then an amazing rally sees both players at full stretch before Djokovic drills one beyond Murray's reach for three break points. Murray saves the first two but Djokovic makes no mistake with the third, forcing Murray wide with two massive forehands and closing out the game with a volleyed winner.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 6-3 4-3 Djokovic
What a chance this is now for Murray! A double fault from Djokovic gives him three break points but the Scot only needs one of the them as a powerful return sets him up for a forehand winner.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 6-3 3-3 *Djokovic
Murray catches a tired-looking Djokovic on his heels with a drop shot and lures his opponent to the net again before firing a forehand past him. Djokovic gets wise to the tactic and puts away a volley before Murray nets to make it 30-30. Djokovic takes the game to deuce but Murray gains the advantage with an exquisite half-volley and levels the decider at 3-3 after a solid first serve. Quite some match this.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 6-3 2-3 Djokovic
Both players look shattered out there but they are still pulling off some extraordinary shots and they slug it out under the lights in the Italian capital. Murray earns a break point with a backhand return winner down the line and breaks back with another perfectly-executed winner off the other flank.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 6-3 1-3 *Djokovic
The next game starts with another fierce rally which Djokovic takes as Murray miscues. But the Scot is right on the money with his next two serves to go 30-15 ahead. Then Murray gets a big casual as he goes for the angle and floats a forehand wide before a Djokovic lob catches Murray by surprise and he makes a complete mess of a backhand overhead. Djokovic seizes his opportunity to break with some excellent power-hitting as Murray, forced deep behind the baseline, dumps a backhand into the net.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Greg, Newcastle, via text message: "Don't take anything away from Murray, although Novak dropped a few levels in that set, it was Andy's doing."

Murray* 1-6 6-3 1-2 Djokovic
Anything you can do? The Serbian produces a love game of his own to keep his nose in front in this final set.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 6-3 1-1 *Djokovic
Strong, strong serving from Murray as he wins a game to love. Are we about to witness the end of Novak Djokovic's incredible run in 2011? This one is up for grabs.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 6-3 0-1 Djokovic
The momentum is with Murray as he drills a backhand winner down the line. But Djokovic roars back into the game, running around a forehand to steam a winner into the corner and taking a 1-0 lead with a shuddering cross-court forehand that Murray does well to get close to.
* denotes next to serve

Twitter
DavidWaters1987 on Twitter: "Season-defining set for Murray coming up - a win here will go someway to ease the scars of the Oz Open Final."

Murray 1-6 6-3 *Djokovic
A Murray serve kisses the back of the service line to give him a 30-15 lead and he earns himself two more set points with some classic serve and volley play. A sublime cross-court backhand winner from Murray make is one set all!
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 5-3 Djokovic
Murray is right in the zone here as he lands a forehand winner before Djokovic inexplicably dumps a smash into the net. Murray is a fraction long with a forehand but another volley error from Djokovic gives Murray two set points. Djokovic makes no mistake with an overhead to save the first and he is rock solid at the net to take it to deuce. An ace gives Djokovic the advantage and the Serb takes the game with a little help from a net cord.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 5-2 *Djokovic
Great chance for Murray to force a decider but the first point goes astray. The next more than makes up for it though as Murray manoeuvres his opponent left and right in a 33-shot rally and clinches it with a feathery drop shot that gives the Serb no chance. The next two points are shared before Murray slices a backhand wide to give Djokovic a chance to break back. Another epic rally ensues and Murray takes the point when Djokovic nets a backhand. We are into deuce territory and Murray knows this game is big. Djokovic can only prod back a huge forehand from Murray and the Scot sprints in and whips a forehand winner across the court to go 5-2 ahead.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 4-2 Djokovic
Hang on a minute. A winner from Murray and a rare blunder from Djokovic allow Muzza to race into a 30-0 lead. The Scot is right in the next point as well but just when he has a chance for the kill he nets a forehand. The reprieve seems to energise Djokovic and a good first serve makes it 30-all. But things are not all well with the Djok at the mo and two more unforced errors give Murray the break.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 3-2* Djokovic
Murray is starting to give as good as he gets here, but it is tough going and Djokovic rounds off a brutal exchange with a forehand winner down the line. But Murray responds with a powerful first serve to go 40-30 up. Djokovic takes the game to deuce after dominating another rally but Murray raises his game just when he needs to and keeps his nose in front with an unstoppable ace.
* denotes next to serve

Murray *1-6 2-2 Djokovic
This is turning into a very different set from the first, with both players having little trouble in holding serve. Murray is out-muscled by the Serbian and he can't control a backhand from well behind the baseline, before Djokovic wins the game with another superlative drop shot.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Gill, Bucks, via text message: "I wish people would see the positives. Murray has been working on his clay court game and is clearly trying unfamiliar techniques. Add that to coming up against a player in the form of Djokovic. Give the guy some support!"

Murray 1-6 2-1* Djokovic
It is Murray's turn to benefit from a lucky break off the net as Djokovic is wrong-footed. The world number two seems to have taken his foot off the gas a touch here and Murray takes advantage to win the game to 15.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 1-1 Djokovic
Murray looks to be hitting the ball with a bit more purpose now but he needs to cut out the errors as another shot drifts long and helps Djokovic seize a 30-0 lead. The Serb has a bit of good fortune with a net cord but he takes the game to 30 as Murray's backhand sails over the baseline.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 1-0 *Djokovic
That's much better as Murray wins a couple of cheap points with some strong first serves and powers into a 40-0 with a clean forehand winner. An ace down the middle wraps up Murray's first service hold of the match so far.
* denotes next to serve

Twitter
Penners88 on Twitter: "The way Murray is playing, I can only assume he wants to get back to the hotel to watch the Eurovision Song Contest."

Murray* 1-6 Djokovic
Djokovic is mixing up power and touch here as he wins the first point via a drop shot and a volleyed winner. Murray makes it 15-15 but he can't do much about a big first serve and two more Murray errors give Djokovic the set. It's one-way traffic at the moment and Murray needs a re-think.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-5 *Djokovic
Come on Andy focus. That is really poor from Murray as he does all the hard work to earn an easy put-away, but loops it long. Murray is having to work his socks off just to win any points here and a good serve gets it back to 30-30 before another weak forehand gifts Djokovic a break point. Murray then dumps a backhand into the middle of the net and Djokovic has a double break.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-4 Djokovic
Djokovic is really steaming along now and he opens up a 30-0 lead with a sublime drop shot. An attempt at the same shot goes wrong but Murray can't take advantage as he fires just long. Murray gets a point on the board, but another forehand goes astray and that is 4-1. Too many unforced errors from the Scot at the moment.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-3 *Djokovic
Murray is really fired up for this one and has already been warned about his language by the umpire after a couple of marginal calls went against him. Djokovic is all power and purpose in the next game though, and earns himself three break points with some fearsome returns. A cross-court forehand from Murray lands just wide and that is game Djokovic.
* denotes next to serve


Text in your views on 81111
Dan, Leics, via text: "Only three games down but this is already shaping up to be a classic."

Murray* 1-2 Djokovic
A couple of uncharacteristic errors from Djokovic give Murray a sniff at 30-30. The Serbian drills a winner from mid-court but Murray fights back to win a fine point and take it to deuce. A long, tense rally follows before Djok dumps a drop shot into the net to give Muzza his first break point. The Scot wastes his first two chances with wayward forehands but he snatches the game a the third attempt as Djok nets a backhand. Game On.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 0-2 *Djokovic
Some good first serves from Murray help him assume a 30-0 lead, but Djokovic tucks into a second serve to get himself on the board. The world number two then ends a long rally with a beautifully-disguised backhand drop shot and gets a break point when Murray goes long with a forehand. Murray gets it back to deuce and saves another break point but it's third time unlucky as Murray nets to hand his opponent a 2-0 lead.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 0-1 Djokovic
Djokovic opens up with an ace and a clean forehand winner. Murray drops a bit short with a service return and Djokovic puts away a backhand from mid court to go 40-0 up. Another brutal forehand and it's a storming start from the Serb.
* denotes next to serve

1910: The boys are warming up now folks. I'm loving the fact that this is a night match, under floodlights, in the Eternal City. Adds to the sense of occasion. Big time. Don't forget Murray has revenge on his mind, after taking a bit of a pasting from Djoko in the Aussie Open final in January.

Twitter
OfficialStejay on Twitter: "The result from tonight's match depends on which Murray turns up. Here's hoping its the world beating version tonight."

Text in your views on 81111
Dirty Mike and the boys via text message: "Murray will win. He always seems to come good when you least suspect it. Straight sets victory. It will happen."

1903: Just heard Murray has been playing a touch of cat and mouse with the press ahead of this semi-final. He booked an official car to take him to the arena, but then took a taxi instead and entered through a back door. Not sure if that means anything really, but just thought I'd tell you.

Twitter
Pengumile on Twitter: "He has a chance against Djoko (a small one) but if he gets past him, I'm sorry, he has no chance against Nadal."

1858: So, while we await the big event, here's a bit of chat from the women's event where it's all been happening today. Sam Stosur will meet Maria Sharapova in the final after the Russian seventh-seed stunned world number one Caroline Wozniacki in the semis. Stosur beat Li Na 7-6 (8-6) 6-0.

1853: Don't let me do all the talking. I want to know whether you think our Muzza is capable of pulling this one off after becoming the first Brit in the last four of Italy's premier tournament since 1932. So, please tweet via the hashtag at #bbctennis OR text me on 81111 (UK) with TENNIS before your message. Not long to go. The players are due on court at 1900 BST.

1850: Just so you know, Murray is talking a good game. "I feel confident and I think I can beat him," was his battle cry ahead of today's showdown on the red stuff. And anyone looking for another note of optimism, check this out: it's Murray's 24th birthday tomorrow, so what better way to celebrate than by beating the world number two and one in successive days?

1848: And there is quite some prize awaiting the winner of this one folks, if you can really call it a prize - it's a meeting with Clay King Rafael Nadal in Sunday's final.

1845: How do you beat Mr Unbeatable? That's the quandary facing Andy Murray today as he takes on Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters. The red-hot Serbian has not lost in 35 matches in 2011 and demolished Robin Soderling 6-3 6-0 in the quarters.



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see also
Nadal eases past Gasquet in Rome
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Murray out to end Djokovic streak
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Dominant Stosur into Rome final
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Murray through to Rome last four
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Murray v Mayer as it happened
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Murray eases into quarter-finals
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Federer beaten by Gasquet in Rome
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Djokovic continues winning streak
12 May 11 |  Tennis
Murray battles to Malisse victory
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Federer keen to challenge top two
10 May 11 |  Tennis
Djokovic ends Nadal's run on clay
11 May 11 |  Tennis
New coach not imminent - Murray
06 May 11 |  Tennis
Ragged Murray beaten by Bellucci
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Murray labours to Madrid victory
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