Andy Murray battled his way through to the final of the Sony Open in Miami to face off against Spaniard David Ferrer, winning by a narrow margin of 2-6 6-4 7-6 (7-1) in an exhilarating final. Murray knew that if he could win the tournament he would overtake Swiss maestro Roger Federer and regain his place as no.2 in the ATP World Tour Rankings. This victory gave Murray his second Miami title, as well as his 9th Masters Victory and his 26th career title.
The humidity made the conditions extremely harsh and took its toll later on in the match with both players showing heavy signs of fatigue. The US Open Champion did not get off to a good start with Ferrer taking the first five games. He is now 4th in the world, sitting just ahead of Rafael Nadal. Murray served poorly throughout the match, showing especially in the opening stages as Ferrer took the first set with ease.
Going into the second set, Murray needed to improve his play – he certainly did so, quickly breaking Ferrer’s serve which put him two games ahead. Unfortunately for the British number one, Ferrer would not back down, pulling the set level to 4-4. Digging deep, Murray finally claimed the second set, forcing the match to go down the final, climatic set.
By now the heat was seriously showing on the players, both producing lack-lustre shots and serves. However, neither would give up fighting until the end. Overall in the match there were fourteen breaks of serve, with most coming in the final set, putting Ferrer in a commanding position, leading 6-5.
The match came down to the Championship point – Ferrer looked poised for victory after calling a Hawk-Eye challenge on a Murray shot which he thought went too far. The replay showed that the shot was in fact perfect, just touching the line which forced the match into a deciding tie-break.
Going into the tie-break, both players looked exhausted and it looked to be a test of endurance which the younger Scot eventually won. From the moment Murray won the opening point, Ferrer was always on the back foot and when he went 5-1 down, he collapsed to the floor suffering from cramp. Murray soon ended the match with a fine back hand shot to claim his 9th Masters title.
When he collected his Sony Open trophy, Murray summarised the match. “I just managed to fight well in the end. They were incredibly difficult conditions, very windy, extremely humid and hot. I served poorly and if I’d served better, I could have made things easier for myself. That’s something I’ll need to do better during the clay season.” Murray is now the world number two but hopes that he can soon overtake Novak Djokovic to become the world number one.
Author Daniel Foster.
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