Sunday, March 31, 2013

MIAMI 2013: Murray Snatches Win From Ferrer

As I predicted earlier, World #3 Andy Murray found a way to beat World #5 David Ferrer 2-6 6-4 7-6(1) to win the Miami Masters title at the Sony Open Tennis tournament and claim the World #2 ranking when the ATP World Tour rankings are released on Monday. The match was one of the ugliest on record, with far more errors than winners from both players. In fact, midway through the third set, the two players had combined for 80 errors and fewer than 25 winners The third set began with 6 consecutive breaks of serve. Half of the games of the second set were won by the service receiver. By the end of the nearly 3-hour match, the apparently indefatigable Ferrer appeared to cramp and be physically spent during the tie-breaker, physically and mentally defeated after failing to convert a break point and match point a few games before.

Ferrer falls to 5-7 career head-to-head against Murray and is now 0-13 in finals against Top 5 opponents. He will rise to World #4 in the rankings. Murray won his 9th ATP Masters title (9-3 in Masters series finals) and his 26th career title (26-14 in ATP tour finals). It was the first time that Murray had saved a match point in a Tour final and claimed the title.

This win bodes well for Murray as he enters the clay court season with far fewer points to defend than his rivals in the Top 4. World #1 Novak Djokovic reached the finals in Rome and Paris, while Federer won Madrid. Nadal, of course, has the most points to defend, having won titles in Rome, Monte Carlo and Paris.

Let the clay court season begin!

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