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By Chris Oddo | Saturday, May 9, 2015

Andy Murray Madrid 2015

Andy Murray put forth a vintage display to reach his second consecutive clay court in Madrid. Next up? Rafael Nadal.

Photo Source: Reuters

It’s May 9th and Andy Murray is still undefeated on clay in 2015. In other words, the recently married Scot is playing some of the best tennis of his life on the surface.

More: Kvitova Storms Kuznetsova for Second Madrid Title

Case in point: Murray’s clinical, 6-3, 6-4 victory over the highly dangerous Kei Nishikori in Saturday’s Mutua Madrid Open semifinals.

Murray came out with an aggressive gameplan, attacked Nishikori’s second serve with verve and played his usual brilliant defense in knocking off last year’s runner-up without too much trouble at all.

It was the type of poignantly aggressive tennis that can make Murray virtually unstoppable at times. Especially when he is making and converting first serves, which he did a lot of on Saturday. Murray served only 58 percent, but lost only seven of the 34 points that in which he made his first offering.

After failing on his first break opportunity in the third game of the first set, Murray would come through in the seventh game, setting up another break point with one of his many exquisite drop shots on the day and sealing the game with a big second-serve backhand return that handcuffed Nishikori.

For good measure, Murray notched the double-break in the ninth game to take the opener, 6-3.

Though Nishikori struggled to find his consistency for most of the day (19 winners vs. 26 unforced errrors), he was able to craft a break point with back-to-back drop shot winners, and scored the early 2-1 lead in set two when Murray sailed a backhand long.

But the ever resilient Murray would hit back in the next game, despite the fact that Nishikori hit the shot of the day—a falling backhand flick at deuce—in the game. Murray would eventually convert when Nishikori buried a forehand down the line into the tape.

It remained close down the stretch, as Nishikori saved a break point at 3-4, but Murray would claim a late break and the match in the final game on Nishikori’s final unforced error.

Notes, Numbers, Tweets

Murray moves into his 14th career Masters 1000 final with the victory, and his first on clay. It also ensures that a member of tennis’s big four will have won 43 of the last 47 Masters 1000 titles. Murray currently owns nine titles at this level, while his opponent in Sunday’s final, Rafael Nadal, owns 27.

Murray is bidding for his 33rd career title.


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