Andy Murray dethrones Rafael Nadal to win Madrid Open
Andy Murray overcame Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2 in a one-sided final at the Madrid Open to capture his first Masters 1000 clay court title. It is Murray’s second tournament win on clay in as many weeks.
The World No. 3 was aggressive from the word as he attacked Nadal’s forehand and backhand with precision. It is very rare to see the 9-time French Open champion lose rallies and being dominated from the baseline. Nadal never found his rhythm on the court and missed several forehand winners to add to his misery. The Spaniard is not known for his skills near the net and Murray outsmarted him in that department with fine drop shots.
This is Murray’s first win over Nadal on clay in seven meetings. Nadal was impressive on his first serve again registering 82% and winning 79% points off them. The defending champion couldn’t break Murray on his three break point chances, while a solitary break was enough for the Brit to take the opening set 6-3.
Murray was at his imperious best in the second set as he broke Nadal on two occasions and did not offer the Spaniard a single break point opportunity on his serve. Nadal’s first serve percentage dipped to 67% and Murray began to retuen Nadal’s serve with more venom to displace the Spaniard on his own turf.
Murray is now 9-0 on clay this year and is looking formidable with less than two weeks left for the French Open.
“I’ve played well at Roland Garros in the past but my game wasn’t ready to win there,” he said. “I’ve played Rafa a few times on clay and this obviously gives me confidence. I don’t go in as one of the favourites but, if I play like this, I’ll give myself an opportunity and that is all you can ask.”
The Brit was outplayed by Nadal in the semifinals at Roland Garros last year. With the Spaniard showing signs of vulnerability on his favoured surface, the second Grand Slam of the year is more open than it’s ever been in the last decade.
With this loss, Nadal had dropped to No. 7 in the ATP rankings.