Nadal, Murray Collide For Tokyo Title; Berdych Battles Cilic In Beijing
We have a good one tonight in Tokyo with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray hooking up for the Japan Open title.
Nadal rolled through Mardy Fish 7-5, 6-1 while Murray blew out David Ferrer 6-2, 6-3. So both rivals are playing some good tennis.
“I think it will be a very difficult match, he is doing very well winning last week in Bangkok and now into another final,” said Nadal. “I will have to play my best tennis to have any chance, it’s a big challenge playing against him.”
“Any chance”, Rafa? Nobody believes that! Nadal has simply dominated the head-to-head with Murray leading 13-4 (1-1 in finals) with five straight wins. But Rafa who won the Tokyo title last year has never defended a title off clay, and we know Murray plays his best tennis at the smaller events like Tokyo. So even though I hate picking him, I’ll take Murray here in this first meeting between the two in Asia.
“I think he’s played some very good tennis the last couple of matches,” said Murray who has won 19 of his last 20 matches. “He’s always tough. He won here last year, so he likes the conditions.”
Nadal’s 65th match win today moves him ahead of Novak Djokovic’s 64. And it keeps his slim hopes alive for the No. 1 year-end ranking.
Nadal also hasn’t won a title off clay since Tokyo last year, and the French Open was his last tournament win.
In Beijing, Tomas Berdych took out JW Tsonga in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 to set up a final against Marin Cilic who knocked out his countryman Ivan Ljubicic 6-4, 6-3.
“To be a second time in the Beijing final is great feeling coming after this summer,” said Cilic. “I played some great tournaments, and I mentioned that I was in pretty good form. That pleases me a lot, that I know when I play well that I can beat those guys and that my tennis is on a good level.”
The women’s final features Angieska Radwanska against Andrea Petkovic in showdown of two players trying to get those final spots in Turkey.
Tennis Channel has live coverage on the Tokyo Nadal-Murray final at 1am ET Saturday night. The Beijing women’s final will be live on Tennis Channel 7:30am ET Sunday morning, with tape of the men’s final to follow.
SUNDAY TOKYO SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
 R Nadal (ESP) vs  A Murray (GBR)
 F Cermak (CZE) / F Polasek (SVK) vs A Murray (GBR) / J Murray (GBR) – After Minimal Rest
SUNDAY BEIJING SCHEDULE
NATIONAL TENNIS STADIUM start 1:00 pm
 M Llodra (FRA) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs R Lindstedt (SWE) / H Tecau (ROU) – ATP
 T Berdych (CZE) vs M Cilic (CRO) – ATP
Not Before 7:30 PM
 A Radwanska (POL) vs  A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
Also Check Out:
Nadal, Murray Through To Tokyo Quarterfinals; Tsonga Stays Hot In Beijing
Djokovic Cruises In Beijing; Murray Meets Milos In Tokyo
Cilic Crushes Nadal, Meets Djokovic for Beijing Title; Tsonga, Hewitt Reach Tokyo Final
Nadal v. Roanic Tonight In Tokyo; Murray Keeps Playing, Keeps Winning
Wozniacki Can Take No. 1 This Week in Beijing: Preview