Mur­ray, Fer­rer to fight for Mi­ami Masters Cup

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS - MI­AMI—

Former win­ner Andy Mur­ray and third seed David Fer­rer will meet in the fi­nal of the Mi­ami Masters af­ter both ral­lied from open­ing set losses to win their semi-fi­nals in three sets. Last year ’s run­ner-up Mur­ray lost the open­ing set in a tiebreaker be­fore beat­ing French­man Richard Gas­quet 6-7 (3/7), 6-1, 6-2 while Spa­niard Fer­rer ended Ger­man veteran Tommy Haas’s gi­ant-kill- ing run 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Mur­ray, the 2009 cham­pion, dropped his first set of the tour­na­ment by los­ing the open­ing-set tiebreak to eighth seed Gas­quet, but quickly made amends and dom­i­nated the fi­nal two sets to reach his third Mi­ami fi­nal.

Mur­ray, who is the lone Bri­tish cham­pion in the his­tory of the Mi­ami event, has beaten Fer­rer in six out of 11 ca­reer matches, win­ning five of the last seven. Fer­rer has only beaten Mur­ray once on a non-clay sur­face and that was at the Bar­clays ATP World Tour Fi­nals in 2011.

The 26-year-old Scot clinched the win when a frus­trated Gas­quet ham­mered a re­turn of serve on his fore­hand into the bot­tom of the net on the first of two match points. Mur­ray fin­ished with six aces and won 75 per­cent of his first-serve points in a cen­tre court match that ended just one minute shy of be­ing two hours long.

Mur­ray started slowly, strug­gling with his serve at times as he dou­ble faulted five times in the match, in­clud­ing three times in the open­ing set. Gas­quet, who has won twice al­ready this year but was ham­pered by a right foot prob­lem in this one, was try­ing to be­come the first French­man to cap­ture the Mi­ami ti­tle.

Mur­ray later said he was pleased at his re­cov­ery af­ter the dis­ap­point­ment of los­ing the first set. Gas­quet re­ceived treat­ment from the trainer dur­ing the break be­tween the sec­ond and third set for a prob­lem with his r i ght an­kle. Mur­ray smacked a su­perb run­ning cross­court fore­hand win­ner to reach match point in t he eighth game of the fi­nal set. That set up a dou­ble match point and Mur­ray wasted no time win­ning it on his first serve.

A de­ter­mined Fer­rer twice ral­lied from a break down in the third set to end the gi­ant-killing run of 15thseeded Haas, who stunned world No. 1 No­vak Djokovic in the fourth round. The first semi-fi­nal of the day was a clash of veter­ans look­ing for early birth­day presents. Haas turns 35 on Wed­nes­day and Fer­rer is ap­proach­ing his 31st birth­day on Tues­day. Haas had backed up his up­set of Djokovic with a quar­ter-fi­nal win over Gilles Simon, and he got off to a fast start against Fer­rer.

The Spa­niard looked out of sorts as Haas broke him at love for a 3-2 lead in the open­ing set, and t he Ger­man broke him again for a 5-2 lead. Fer­rer man­aged to cut down on his er­rors in the sec­ond set, break­ing Haas twice to force a de­cid­ing third set. Fer­rer said his ser­vice game will be the key against Mur­ray on Sun­day.—AFP

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