Nadal crushes Murray dream
Spaniard hands out straight-sets lesson in Wimbledon semi-final
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World number one Rafael Nadal raced to a straight-sets victory over Andy Murray in the semi-final of Wimbledon, ensuring the wait for a home winner of the men's singles will go into a 75th year.
Nadal was at his sublime best during a 6-4 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 success, fourth seed Murray simply having no answer to the pace and intensity of his opponent's efforts during a match lasting two hours and 22 minutes.
The Spaniard, who is unbeaten in 13 matches at SW19 after being unable to defend his 2008 title last year due to injury, advances to play Czech 12th seed Tomas Berdych in Sunday's final.
Murray's exit means Fred Perry, in 1936, remains the last British man to triumph at Wimbledon.
Serve dominated during the early part of the first set with both players hitting top form right from the start.
The crucial moment came in the ninth game when Nadal pounced for the opening break, confirmed when Murray hit a forehand just wide.
Nadal served out the set 6-4 and, although Murray pushed hard for a break at the start of the second, it just would not come - despite getting to deuce in both the fourth and sixth games.
He finally fashioned an opportunity on the Nadal delivery at 15-40 in the eighth game - a mobile phone ring was followed by a netted return on the first break point, while on the second his length dropped too short and Nadal made him pay in the manner to which his rivals have become so accustomed.
A second-set tie-break had been crucial in Murray's quarter-final win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Scot edging it to level the match, and that was his task again.
A return winner gave Murray the first mini-break but that was quickly cancelled out by a netted forehand. Successive aces took the 23-year-old 5-4 ahead and he was gifted a set point on his own serve as Nadal double-faulted.
Nadal made up for that uncharacteristic error, though, defying a deafening roar from the crowd by seizing on a second serve and then winning the point with a superb volley.
And luck was on his side, too, a net cord beating Murray to give Nadal a set point of his own. And this time it was decisive, as the fourth seed scrambled in vain to retrieve a forehand, giving the second seed the breaker 8-6 and moving him closer to the final.
Murray finally did manage to get a break of serve in the opening game of the third set as Nadal's level briefly dropped for the first time.
The Scot turned his early break into a 4-3 lead but Nadal's battling qualities once again came to the fore in the eighth game.
Murray saved a first break point with an unreturnable first serve but could not repeat the feat shortly afterwards when, with Nadal having taken the advantage following a second deuce, he netted a forehand when looking to approach the net.
That levelled the third set at 4-4 and, after a routine hold from Nadal, Murray found himself serving to stay in the match.
But he was unable to extend the contest any further, lashing a volley long to drop serve again and, by virtue of losing four games on the spin, brought a close to his latest bid for a maiden grand slam title.
Nadal, who graciously offered his tearful opponent some words of consolation at the net, now goes forward to his fourth Wimbledon final, having lost to Roger Federer in both 2006 and 2007 before gaining his revenge over the Swiss in an epic 2008 renewal.
Ramnik Shah says...
There are some basic flows in Andy Murray¿s tennis. When he serves he lifts his feet off the ground, he does not get any control or consistency because he is off-balance. If only he keeps his front foot nailed to the ground he may get better on crucial points. I am surprised that this fault has not been observed. Most serve with front foot on the ground and all weight on it and serve better. Andy¿s game is strong but wastes all his energy by swinging his body to play the shots. He will get better if he extends his arms and balances his shots as Nadal or Federer or Berdych, and does not hit his shots side on. He uses too much of his body or torso in process and gets injured or suffers from backaches. I am astonished the coaches don¿t pick these basics. Hope these suggestions are informed to Andy or his coach
Posted 12:47 11th August 2010
Craig Mcauley says...
I agree with Matthew, Andy Murray is only British when he wins and Scottish all the rest of the time. Its about time the English got good at something instead of claiming that they are responsible for everything good about everywhere else.
Posted 15:33 6th August 2010
Mister Marc says...
Let's face the facts, Andy Murray is a fantastic tennis player. There is no arguing with that fact. Adding to that he plays with alot of heart and has loads of self confidence to boot. But the bottom line is it just does not seem to be enough !!!! A straight sets thrashing in a tournament when he was "at his best", and poised to "go all the way" just goes to show that he just isn't good enough against the likes of Rafa or even an average Federer....so until these guys leave, lets face it Andy does not stand a chance !!!
Posted 06:22 7th July 2010
Tom Johnson says...
Murray is a loser always has been and always will be. But least you scots have something to cheer about, your football team have never seen a semi final and never will. Face it, rubbish at everything football, cricket, rugby, we beat you in the 6 nations and id love to say see you in the euros but we all know you have no hope of qualifying.
Posted 04:05 7th July 2010
John Bergin says...
lol, jim rollie because nadal and federer said that murray should win a grand slam does not mean that they are right, Alot of football experts and past players from home and abroad have said england should have won a world cup by now but they was wrong. Anyway, sticking a microphone into nadals and federers face and asking if he can win a grand slam, they are not going to say no are they. I remember pete sampras use to say the same about henman but we all knew he was wrong. Not everyone is hating but are just expressing the concern that we dont think he has that little extra to win a slam especially that nadal and federer have plenty more years left in them. I for one do hope im wrong and he does win a slam.
Posted 20:48 6th July 2010
Jean Taylor says...
Well done Andy. Keep on playing and improving and racking up the points. All the greats have highs and lows so stick at it. Keep improving the forehand and serves and take no notice of any miserable comments. I bet none of them could play as well as you do!Best wishes for the future from a loyal fan.
Posted 13:29 6th July 2010
Ian Cornish says...
How predictable.The scots haters are out in force !Many of the people now slagging Murray off were cheering him before the Nadal match.These will no doubt be the same people who,having savaged the england players will be cheering on the ones who play for their club when pem starts. Pathetic!
Posted 14:14 5th July 2010
Jim Rollie says...
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have both said how good a player Andy Murray is and they should know a good tennis player when they see one!! All you idiots commenting and saying he's rubbish and wont win anything need to have a long hard look at yourselves. He's already won more than the other 2 put together, Henman and Rusedski!!! So if the (arguably) greatest player ever to pick up a racquet thinks he will win a major then you armchair nobodies don't really have a leg to stand on. As for those that say his behaviour is bad etc, what about Federer not having the good grace to admit he was beaten by the better man, complaining about injuries!!! If he was injured the whole world would have known about it before the game. Picking on a 24 year old young man may make you feel big and clever but it says more about you than your words say about Andy. Most of you clowns are probably not the fourth best in your office/workplace let alone the whole world in an era of some of the greatest players ever!
Posted 09:09 5th July 2010
Sezgin Aytac says...
the only grand slams murray has got a shot of winning realistically are the us and aussie open, in my opinion that is. he's game is suited for the hard courts and not for grass and clay thats a fact. ok he got to the semis but the only way murray will ever win wimbledon is if he avoids both rafa and roger to winning it which is highly unlikely. the truth hurts but there it is.
Posted 00:55 5th July 2010
Lee Sterland says...
he didnt play a top 20 player until the semis, and guess what happened when he did, he got done big time. If england didnt have a top 20 team until the semis they would have matched murray the choker. Roll on 2012 euro's, see you there jokeland(scotland). the again probably not
Posted 18:21 4th July 2010
John Bergin says...
Murray is not good enough to win a grand slam, his good but he does not possess that something extra like the natural strenght and fitness like federer or nadal. He is 24 now and with plenty of life in federer and nadal its going to be a few years before they retire and he wont beat any of them in grand slam finals. When nadal and federer are out if the way my fear is that there is always someone else coming through that will dominate tennis like federer did with sampras and leave murray in the cold. But I do hope that he does prove me wrong and if he does it with either be the austrailian or us open that he wins but federer is king on those surfaces like nadal is at the french open.
Posted 13:44 4th July 2010
Philip Boulton says...
Well did anyone really think he would beat Nadal, murray has a one dimensional game and he can,t alter so every other player knows what he is going to do before he does and this will lose him many more contests.
Posted 10:34 4th July 2010
Andy Tel says...
Andy Murray will win nothing again because he either thinks he has the right to win or expects to win, and, he just is not good enough hype hype hype over hype
Posted 09:14 4th July 2010
John Steal says...
oh well its a case of better luck next time! murray needs to wake up, he will never be in the class of feds or nadal. nadal is basically the same age and look at how many trophies he has. monday morning il send the cleaner around to dust andy's cabinet, i been told it wont take too long
Posted 22:05 3rd July 2010
Paul Warden says...
What a vicious nasty Country we live in,we hate to see anyone getting on,we are crippled with jealousy if someone is doing what we would love to do ourselves. Andy Murray is only 23 years old for goodness sake,he has moved up the rankings from 500 in the world to number 4 in just under four years,what an achievement. He will win a Grand Slam in the next couple of years,just watch and see.please engourage him,not put him down,Scots or English.lets face it who really cares,not Me!
Posted 18:28 3rd July 2010
Rob Mudriczki says...
Nadal is a legend. The best forehand in the game. Murray had his chances but it shows how good Nadal is when he can't even rely on cheap points like Aces. Murray needs to develop the forehand down the line shot, which I predict he will do and then we will see him win at least 4 Grand Slams. He has great court coverage, his power is improving, his serve is good, but his forehand is still his weakness.
Posted 18:12 3rd July 2010
David Cross says...
andy murray is good, but he aint a world beater, nadal hit him when it mattered, aslong as nadal and federer are playing murray wont win a slam, you scots brag about how proud you are of him, lol keep him, i like murray but with the two finals hes been in federer has just walked over him, he aint got a chance unless something realy good goes his way, like nadal and fed bieng injured for the same tournament and the rest of the top ten not in form. If he does win a slam which he wont it will be a realy lucky one, like our england team at the WC he just aint good enough.
Posted 15:42 3rd July 2010
David Bosquette says...
I have been a Rafa Nadal fan from day one...How great was it to see him win yesterday, to see him back to his brilliant best and injury free...It proves what i have been saying for years to anyone that will listen - A fully fit Rafael Nadal would kick the butt of a fully fit Roger Federer ANY DAY!! Vamos Rafa and as for Andy Murray, he has improved alot and one day in the not too distant future he will have his day !! But Rafael Nadal is a true sports legend at this stage and Roger Federer could do with learning to be a bit gracious in defeat like Rafa has been in the past, after all Federer is gonna taste alot more defeat in the months ahead!!
Posted 13:04 3rd July 2010
Djk Jki says...
the most disappointing thing about andy murray is that he caved in to the pressure.....and bowed to the queen!
Posted 12:30 3rd July 2010
Marion Anderson says...
As a Scot I am encouraged and proud by the skill and determination of all Scots sportsmen/women. Equally I am proud of our English counterparts. I have the greatest of respect for Team Murray, and undoubtedly they are a team of tremendous ambition. Andy Murray, is exceptional, perhaps for now, not as exceptional as Nadal, but Murray will win Wimbledon. What a shame that the over inflated egos of the English football team and their media spin doctors can't match the public faith in a young talented man from Scotland. What will come out of the woodwork when the media turn on the full story of the England performance? Watch your backs boys.
Posted 12:23 3rd July 2010