Tennis

Djokovic, Murray to battle it out for Madrid crown

Novak Djokovic in action against Kei Nishikori at Madrid Masters.
Novak Djokovic in action against Kei Nishikori at Madrid Masters. Reuters/Andrea Comas
2 min

Tennis ace Rafael Nadal’s 13-match unbeaten run was brought to a halt on Saturday by Andy Murray who won their semifinal showdown 7-5, 6-4 in Madrid Masters. Murray will now face world number 1 Novak Djokovic who overcame the challenge of Kei Nishikori 6-3, 7-4.

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Nadal was vying for this third successive clay court title of the season after winning in Barcelona and Monte Carlo.

The Spaniard had defeated Murray on his way to Monte Carlo Masters triumph. However, the former World No1 couldn’t repeat his performance as Murray scored his first clay court win over Nadal since last year's final in Madrid.

Murray termed Saturday’s win as better than the one from last year.

“Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career. To beat him in Spain on a clay court is obviously a big, big challenge for any player. I'm very pleased to have beaten him, it's a big step for me from where I was four or five weeks ago. I'm going back in the right direction again,” Murray said.

The key statistic in the match was Nadal missing out on 11 of 13 break points.

“It was an open, competitive match which in the end was decided by a few points. The one that played the big points better won. He made the difference with his serve. I didn't play my best, but I also didn't play badly. I was at a middling level which wasn't enough to beat Murray,” Nadal said.

Djokovic too didn’t have it easy against Nishikori in the other semifinal. After a tough first set, the Serbian was serving for the match at 5-4 with three match points.

However, Nishikori refused to give up. He not only saved four match points but also broke Dojokovic’s serve to take the set to a tiebreaker.

Thereafter, the Japanese world number 6 couldn’t sustain the momentum as he lost the tie-break 7-4 and the match.

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