Andy Murray Does It Again, Beats Rafael Nadal In Madrid; Novak Djokovic Awaits In Final
by Sean Randall | May 7th, 2016, 4:57 pm

Down 5-2 in the first set to defending champion Andy Murray today in the Madrid Masters semifinal, Rafael Nadal had an awakening. Unfortunately, he couldn’t sustain it. Nadal, the 4-time Madrid champion and pride of Spain, roared back to even things at 5-5. But just when the crowd was back into what was a fairly uneven match, Murray held serve then broke Nadal again to take the opener.

Nadal couldn’t up his game in the second and Murray held on for a 7-5, 6-4 win. It was the second straight year Murray has beaten Nadal on the biggest court in all of Spain.

“I think I did well,” Murray said. “I felt like I was aggressive throughout. When I had to defend, I did that well, so it was good.

“It’s big. Obviously it’s not easy. Not loads of players have won against Rafa on clay throughout his career,” Murray added. “Very pleased to have beaten him this year. Big, big step for me from where I was four or five weeks ago. I’m going back in the right direction again.”

It was far from the best tennis, but anytime you beat Nadal on clay it’s a great win especially for Murray who hadn’t had a Top 10 win since Davis Cup two months ago. So he is headed in the right direction on one of his favorite courts.

For Nadal, his 13-match win streak is over. But at least he had that streak. So I guess he and his fans will take. Plus, it is Madrid where there is altitude, conditions very unlike Paris.

“In general, he was a little bit better than me,” Nadal said. “We have to congratulate him for his victory and recognise that he played better than me in the important moments.”

And Murray did. Nadal finished just 2/13 on break chances. That inexplicable. It would have been a prime chance for revenge, and watching Nadal, we again saw some poor misses and many short balls which allowed Murray to pounce.

Still, he’s playing better at least.

“I think I had another positive week,” Nadal said. “I made it to the semi-finals. I’ve been very consistent every week. This is good news. Today, mentally I was okay. I fought a lot until the end. I tried to look for solutions and I think I did that, but it wasn’t enough.

“I’m competitive. I’m second in the [Emirates ATP Race To London] because I’m competing. But the same way I lost, if you look at what happened out there, I could have won. You have to criticise yourself to be able to do things better. You have to criticise yourself to get better and better.

“I’m on a positive path. I hope to continue on this path. I feel happy competing. I’m comfortable. Also when I train, I train with a lot of joy to continue going this way.”

Awaiting in the final is the familiar face of Novak Djokovic. The world No. 1 failed to close out a 6-3, 5-3, 40-0 lead. Nishikori scratched out a hold then had 15-30 in Djokovic’s next service game, but the Serb was too strong eventually holding off the pesky Nishikori 6-3, 7-6(4).

After ripping through the field this week – albeit a good draw – Djokovic was again in full cruise control until incredibly blowing four match points in that ninth game of the second set, his first loss of service of the event.

“It wasn’t easy to play in these very windy conditions, but overall I’m very pleased,” Djokovic said.

You Might Like:
Andy Murray Withdraws From Madrid Due To A Back Injury
Rome Draw: Roger Federer Returns, Faces Brutal Road; Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal QF?
Federer Thumps Djokovic to Reach US Open Final; Awaits Delayed Murray, Nadal Winner
Safin Title Drought Continues; Nalbandian Feeling Rosy Entering Madrid
Nadal Leads Spanish Party in Madrid, Closes on No. 2 Ranking

Don't miss any tennis action, stay connected with Tennis-X

Get the FREE TX daily newsletter

16 Comments for Andy Murray Does It Again, Beats Rafael Nadal In Madrid; Novak Djokovic Awaits In Final

Wog Boy Says:

“After ripping through the field this week – albeit a good draw ..”

I am not quite sure that his draw was eaisier than Andy’s or Rafa’s.. Agut, Raonic, Nishikori..sure an easy draw..;)

We have a saying

“U mojega tatka pogolema patka”,

Very hard to translate properly in english but applies to your statment about draw.

Daniel Says:

With finals points Murray will be a few points away from Nadal to also be #2 in the race. If he wins tomorrow he is #2 in the race, if he loses but goes one round further than Nadal in Rome he’ll be #2 in the race as well.

That would be one of the first time we have the top 1 and 2 leading in same order both Current rabking and the race before RG. That will cement the end of Fedal era for good.

anki Says:

Unreal choking by Mr. Novak Chokovic while being 40-0 up and having the whole court to hit an easy winner. Glad though, he could win in the TB instead of going three. Andy is playing well, so it should be a close match. One thing that surprises me lately is that Novak is strangely not winning the stats for the most number of points won for more than 9 shots. Wonder why, anyway his serving was too good today. Got him out of trouble.

Wog Boy Says:

Ok Sean, check this:

Nole oponents,
Coric (40) Agut (17) Raonic (10) Nishikori (6) average ranking 18.

Rafa oponents,
Kuznetsov (39), Querry (37), Sousa (35) Murray (2) average ranking 28

Andy oponents:
Stepanek (148) Simon (18) Berdych (8) Nadal (5) average ranking 44

I’ll leave it to you to work out how eaisier Nole’s draw than other two.

Wog Boy Says:

^^ and it wasn’t Andy either, Stepanek rankings spoiled it, though it should be eaisier to play agains 37 years old than 19 years old up and comong player in the first round.

skeezer Says:

The match of the day was Murray/Rafa… far. Any other match was a meh. More talk on these two please….

chrisford1 Says:

BTW, Wog Boy, I agree being a Djokovic fan is tough, even if his overall play is being a dominant world-beater. Your excuse on what can drive you to drink. The Simon match at the AO. Blowing 4 match points on his serve to let Kei back into the contest as rabid Spaniards started roaring for the Japanese star.

Ride the Nolecoaster!

You talked about Madrid fans being as bad as NYC fans. Nope, not even close. New Yorkers by and large tend to be arrogant A-holes. thinking NYC is the center of the universe, when it no longer is because the very same NyC Elites that go to Flushing Meadow sold America and American jobs out to China to boost the profit margins of the wealthy on Wall Street.

Madrid fans only jeer and whistle at enemy they are forced to respect and fear. Fans of Real Madrid hate Bayern Munich with a passion “La Beastia Negra”. Well, to Madrid fans, still nationalistic despite all the socialism and PC they cow under, Novak is the black beast of tennis who single-handedly stopped Rafa from being GOAT. The 2009 match with Rafa led to Rafa being hobbled and not as able – costing him good shots at 2009 French Open and Wimbledon against the winner who Rafa owned.. Then the fearsome Rafa 2010, the conquerer of all, got confounded by Nole 2.0
Which included a humiliating loss in Madrid and overcelebrating Serbs serenading him and humping cars there (no donkeys available).
Off court though, Nole is liked by Spanish players and fans. They see no illogic to this duality.

[BTW, on Rafa, I commend him for again working himself back into being a force and saying how he feels he is back, and he loves the hard training and other challenges again. I wish him luck. After the French Open is Novaks this year. Maybe Wimbledon, Olympics, Cincinnati, and the USO as well. But I do indeed wish him luck at the Year End Championships. As he has a positive H2H over all the other non-Davydenko pros including Nole for 95% of Nole’s career – he deserves one of those. Just like Nole with all his effort and great clay record (he is well in the top 10 all-time in clay winning %, Roger is not) merits a RG trophy.
As for Andy, unfortunately, prepping the ground for Nole’s French Open will benefit from beating Andy thoroughly as possible if they meet, at Madrid and Rome. Murray is a huge threat. He is a natural clay courter in game and body types and soft hands…he stopped sucking on clay last year and is trying to realize his potential. Andy is motivated, dreams of being #1 some day, and desperately doesn’t want to be left, with his peak years likely gone by the wayside in a short window, left as totally 2nd tier afterthought to the Big 3.

Sean Randall Says:

Wog Boy, checked.

Entering the semifinals Djokovic had the easier draw. I’d rate Simon/Berdych a tougher tandem than Agut/Raonic, but your mileage may vary.

Wog Boy Says:

You conviniently omitted Borna Coric and Radek Stepanek, did you? They had to play three matches not two to get to SF?
I’ll disagree about Simon/Betdych tougher oponents than Agut/Raonic, but that ours personal opinion that can’t be verified as a fact.

James Says:

Murray has playedquite well in Madrid so far. Surprisingly aggressive – consistently. Its always been a puzzle why he has been so defensive most of his career. May be this is a good sign.

Would be ironic if Murray wins the French this year (ahead of Djoke)!

As for Nadal – he got 81% first serves in, yet got broken 4 times. While he is not in the extreme slump he was until a month ago – I don’t think he is “back” or will ever be. This is the best he will now ever be. Strange saying this – but yes, he needs a good draw to win the French again.

Cristina Says:

Looking at the race, the Agut (10)/Raonic (5) tandem is significantly stronger than Simon (23)/Berdych (12).

skeezer Says:

Nadal has had plenty of “good draws” at FO. Is it fair he should get another one? Ahh…but the draw is the draw…no?
So true about Murray, he wants to play defense too much. He has the tools to be a more aggressive player, he just needs to turn that switch on. Nice to see him get more aggressive for sure..

Daniel Says:

Murray’s BHnceoss court was impressive, really driving that shot. But his BH DTL wasn’t working well, don’t recall many winner from it.

Wog Boy Says:

Cristina thanks, that is actually factual thing and not an opinion, good one.

Giles Says:

Okey dokey, let’s see what you got for today young Scot. Don’t let the Serb’s Satan eyes scare and derail you. Remember the power of Margot is on your side. Lol

J-Kath Says:

Also the draw originally included Federer…irrespective of his swift withdrawal.

Top story: Ruud, Berrettini Lead Europe Singles Sweep At Laver Cup; Tsitsipas v Kyrgios Saturday