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Murray turns back the Nadal waves

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Grabcopy
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Murray turns back the Nadal waves « on: October 09, 2011, 11:29 AM »
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Andy Murray today outshone King Canute, the Dane who believed he could send back the advancing waves. In the final of the Rakuten Japan Open, the Scot turned the tide of five successive defeats to Rafael Nadal in a stunning 3-6 6-2 6-0 triumph.

As Djokovic has discovered in recent months, winning can become a habit. And, whilst the Serb's incredible season has been built around Masters and slam victories, winning is no less positive a force when applied to ATP 250 and 500 events.

With the Scot's win in Thailand last week, Murray has now recorded 12 straight victories and brought his career title haul to 20. But it was a victory that looked long distant when the first set fell to Nadal in routine fashion after an early break and some shaky serving.

However, at the end-of-set changeover, Murray adjusted his ankle strapping, altered his mindset and somehow wheeled out his unstoppable twin – the one who never misses, never gets tired and never says never.

Hitting deep and hard, he dominated Nadal from the baseline, varying pace and width, stretching him first left, then right, then deep, then brutally short. It was a metronomic masterclass from the Scot, who, on this form, would surely have applied his Canute act to Nadal in the three slam semis he lost to the Spaniard this year.

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Murray finally broke through in the fourth game of the set. Although the world number two, who hasn't won a hard-court title since this final last year, countered with three break points in the following game, the Scot's android twin summoned up three aces and broke again to steal the set and square the match.

The third set was a shocker for the Spaniard, who seemed resigned to Murray being the better player on the day. Where Nadal's fight usually comes with an almost religious fervour, today he offered up only a karmic acceptance of his fate, as the Scot's mesmeric groundshots strafed the white lines.

The bagel was most welcome for the Scot, due on court for the doubles final with brother Jamie, which he also wrapped up, 6-1 6-4.

"I played some great tennis, especially in the third set," said Murray afterwards. "There were a lot of close games towards the end of the first set and beginning of the second and I managed to get the momentum and didn't give him many chances after that.

"For sure, in the third set, it was some of the best tennis I've played against him. I was very consistent, didn't make too many mistakes and kept a cool head in the important moments."

The victory puts Murray within snatching distance of Roger Federer's third spot in the ATP rankings and will be a massive confidence booster after a poor run of form against the top three.
[ Last edit by Grabcopy October 09, 2011, 12:33 PM ] IP Logged
lashurst
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #1 on: October 09, 2011, 11:42 AM »
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Glad its your turn to be the author Nigel, like your reports even though we gave you a real teasing today on the thread!  w00t

Superb and I like the following  observation: "winning can become a habit"!

Cheers!



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Riverman
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #2 on: October 09, 2011, 11:53 AM »
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Pretty awesome day for Murray really, winning the singles title against Nadal and then winning the doubles as well... cmon yeah
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 12:04 PM »
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This has been a superb day for Andy. Brillant. This will give him such confidence for the Shangai event and onward for the Barclays.

He played brillantly, the best I have seen him play.

Confident, attacking his mind on the job, no outbursts.
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michelle
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 12:07 PM »
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Good report. What a day for the Murrays and the team. Now some rest and on to Shanghai and  cmon yeah cmon yeah yay yay.
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Aileen
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 12:16 PM »
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Thanks Nigel - at least you're conceding that winning 250s and 500s is worth something! Very Happy

A great day all round for the Murrays - and to think I nearly stopped watching at the end of the first set of Andy's match! doh

I like this statement, which should be firmly implanted into Andy's brain - I was very consistent, didn't make too many mistakes and kept a cool head in the important moments."  If he can do that on a regular basis, and play the way he did, particularly in the 3rd set, then he might actually manage to win that elusive Slam.
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Ruthie
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 12:16 PM »
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Nice report as usual Nigel.  And of course that twin is none other than Mr Magic.  Let's hope Mr M stays in charge from now on.  To make Rafa look ordinary is quite something.  Go Andy go and take that  #3 slot from smugfed in Shanghai.
Does anyone know does he need to defend his title to do that or could he do so even if he doesn't given that smugfed isn't playing? Not sure what the gap is now though  I know Andy is ahead of smugfed in the race.
  yay yay clap clap cmon yeah cmon yeah
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Hazybear
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 12:35 PM »
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yay Well done Andy!
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ChrisMac
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 12:54 PM »
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Nice Nigel....... clap clap
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Caz
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 03:20 PM »
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Wow.......Great report Nigel, for someone who didn't watch the match! Very Happy The only thing I would disagree with, is you saying that Nadal accepted his fate! It seemed to me that he kept on fighting right to the last point, but today, it just wasn't enough! cmon yeah
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 03:34 PM »
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Agree with that Caz clap clap
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Ruthie
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Touch the sky - and touch it he did.

Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 04:36 PM »
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I thought Rafa looked simply bemused as to how to deal with Andy in such scintillating form.
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lashurst
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 05:06 PM »
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I thought Rafa looked simply bemused as to how to deal with Andy in such scintillating form.
He's go so used to having things all his own way (well mostly), Andy has just notched up a few wins against him in his career.
This was shock and awe! Just think. Rafa lost his Championship status in Japan Open. It will put a dent in Rafas self esteem and he will be more wary of Andy next time. That can have to sides it of course.

I hope Andy remembers this victorious feeling for a long time and builds on it, game on game. Thats how he did it today. No magic involved. Just winning point by point, not looking at the point he'd just lost or the error just made, but like Nadal does, looking for the next point.

He seemed more mature, still vocal, but not the Andy of "old", Mr negative. Maybe he is maturing and getting more self control. Whatever it is, I want more of it. We all agree (on MW) he can do whatever he sets his mind to.
All thats stopping him is Andys "own head".

I'm so proud of him today.
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 06:11 PM »
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Are we all still very, very happy? Yes, we are toot
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Re: Murray turns back the Nadal waves « Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 06:38 PM »
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Are we all still very, very happy? Yes, we are toot

Most definately - leaves a warm glow it does - just watching the highlights on Sky and remembering how good it was. Lovely write up, Nigel, so glad I set the alarm and got up to watch - unforgettable.
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