US OPEN-Murray finishes off upset of Nadal

Posted: September 8, 2008 in General
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Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts after defeating Rafael Nadal, of Spain, in four sets in their semifinal match at the U.S. Open on Sunday.
Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts after defeating Rafael Nadal, of Spain, in four sets in their semifinal match at the U.S. Open on Sunday.
Andy Murray has pulled off an upset two days in the making.

Murray, the tournament’s sixth seed finished off his stunning, rain-interrupted victory of No. 1 Rafael Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-4 at the U.S. Open on Sunday.

Murray was up 6-2, 7-6 (5), 2-3 at Flushing Meadows on Saturday when heavy rain brought by tropical storm Hanna suspended play and forced the postponement until Sunday afternoon.

“Tough to sleep,” Murray said of the delay.

He will now advance to his first Grand Slam final — on Monday he’ll face four-time defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland, who’s vying for his 13th title at a Grand Slam event.

“He’s got loads of experience in these situations,” Murray said, “and it’s something new to me.”

But Murray, who will also attempt to become the first British man to win a major tennis championship since Fred Perry won the 1936 U.S. Open, has a winning record of 2-1 against Federer and isn’t short on confidence heading into Monday’s final.

“He’s probably the greatest player ever, so to get the chance to play against him in a Slam final is an honour,” Murray said Sunday. “But I’ve played well against him in the past and hopefully … I’ll do that again tomorrow.”

The loss snapped Nadal’s 19-match winning streak at major tournaments. He had won 54 of his 56 previous matches — a run that included titles at the French Open, Wimbledon and the Beijing Olympics.

“He beat me because he was better than me,” acknowledged Nadal, whose 19-match winning streak at major tournaments ended. “When he’s playing aggressive, he can beat everybody.”

Nadal attempted to take a stand from the outset, closing out the third set before going up 3-1 in the fourth set.

“It was almost slipping away,” Murray said.

But Murray broke the Spaniard twice en route to taking five of the next six games and securing his first victory over Nadal in six tries.

Murray had Nadal running ragged near the end, winning a 22-stroke exchange with a volley to get to match point.

The Scotsman finished him off with a service break, easily reaching a Nadal drop shot and finishing with a strong winner.

“I just had to keep my head down and watch the ball — and that was that,” Murray said. “I didn’t feel particularly nervous.”

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