Murray re­mains on course to de­fend Madrid crown

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

Andy Murray will have the chance to de­fend the Madrid Open ti­tle af­ter com­ing through a scrappy af­fair with Rafael Nadal.

Nei­ther player man­aged to pro­duce their best tennis in an er­ror-rid­den semi-fi­nal but it was the Scot who pre­vailed as he se­cured a 7-5 6-4 vic­tory. Murray said: “It’s easy af­ter win­ning a tight first set to drop your in­ten­sity or your level and I re­ally tried to stay on top at the be­gin­ning of the sec­ond and that was im­por­tant.” Murray won the Madrid ti­tle last year by de­feat­ing Nadal in the fi­nal and it never looked as though the Spa­niard would gain re­venge this time around.

The 14-time grand slam cham­pion strug­gled to make the most of his op­por­tu­ni­ties on the Murray serve, con­vert­ing just two of 13 break points. Nadal was hop­ing to win a third straight ti­tle af­ter vic­to­ries in Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but it is Murray who will have the chance to win a first clay court tour­na­ment of the sea­son in to­day’s fi­nal.

The 28-year-old must re­tain the ti­tle or else he will lose his world No. 2 rank­ing to Roger Fed­erer.

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