Murray Seeks Second Miami Title Against Ferrer On Sunday, Will He Get It?
by Sean Randall | March 30th, 2013, 4:13 pm

After all is said and done in Miami, after all the upsets and surprises we are still left with two of the top three seeds in the men’s final tomorrow as former champion Andy Murray takes on first-time finalist David Ferrer in the last hardcourt match until July.

Both guys reached the finals after surviving (dis)similar three setters yesterday. Murray failed to serve out the first set against Richard Gasquet, allowing the Frenchman to take the opener in a breaker. Then Murray got into gear winning 12 of the last 15 games en route to his second straight Miami final and a the No. 2 ranking if he wins out.

Ferrer also lost the first set to the surprising Cinderella Tommy Haas. The 34-year-old Haas really took it to the Spaniard in the first but after a long week just couldn’t keep the momentum going. Ferrer dug in and all but made Tommy come down off his high. And when he did, Ferrer seized.

Tommy had his chances in the third, twice leading by a break but Ferrer won the last five games of the match to book his first final in Miami, and his second at a Tennis Masters in his last three.

Is Ferrer becoming a hardcourt specialist in his 30s? Not so, but he is a solid top player.

As for tomorrow…

David Ferrer v. Andy Murray
Obviously Murray gets the edge in this matchup. While Ferrer has kept this series with Murray close – Andy leads 6-5 – on hardcourts it’s a different story. Murray has won five of six meetings with Ferrer and in those wins Murray’s lost just one set.

Ferrer did beat Murray in their most recent cement collision at the 2011 London finals, but Murray’s a different player mentally now. He’s got a Slam, got a Ggld got a serious coach in his box in Ivan Lendl. Plus he’s won Miami before in 2009. So unless the Scot goes completely off the rails – he could, and he hasn’t been particularly sharp this week – it’s going to be very tough for David to make serious inroads into Murray’s game on Sunday.

In terms of stroke matchups, Murray’s better in every single category: forehand, backhand, speed, net play, serve and I think even the return of serve. But upstairs is where Ferrer has a slight edge.

“Ferrer has a great attitude on the court,” Murray said. “He fights for every single point. You’re going to have to do more running than against some players that may be 30 Love or 40 Love, may just miss or give you a point almost. You know, it’s not like that with him. He plays every single point hard, and that’s why it’s tough against him.”

Pressure, though could be factor. With Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer all watching (or not) from home, this is a massive, rare opportunity for both guys to pick up huge title and some crucial ranking points. Ferrer, who turns 31 next week, may never again get a such a crack at a prestigious hardcourt title like Miami. And with Murray, a part-time Miami resident, the clear favorite, the bulk of that weight and expectation falls his way, something he’s had trouble dealing with in the past. In fact, since his US Open title Murray’s won just one singles title, that coming over Grigor Dimitrov in Brisbane, so nerves are going to be an issue in this one, for both guys.

Ferrer has to be feeling content with how he’s played while Murray needs a big win like this heading into the clay season where Rafa reigns supreme.

In the end I just feel Murray has too much game and too much firepower for Ferrer. But as we saw against Haas, David will make his opponents earn it. And I think in this case Murray will.
The pick: Murray in two

CBS will have live coverage of the match starting at 11:30am ET. Happy Easter everyone.

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46 Comments for Murray Seeks Second Miami Title Against Ferrer On Sunday, Will He Get It?

Steve 27 Says:

Murray, too, but in three tough sets

Obladi Says:

I take beauty over bulk.

Natalie Says:

Ferrer is a rising star and can easily win.

tennismonger Says:

What’s up w/the early start time? For a final? I didn’t catch the ladies until the third set – did they start that early too?

Guess American tennis is chopped liver now…gotta make way for the more important sports later in the day, not to mention all the easter egg hunts!

andrea Says:

i hope ferrer wins. as a sentimental favorite. he’s due! but that doesn’t detract from his chances…he has a shot.

Alok Says:

This is a match I can watch without any emotion.

I don’t think American tennis is chopped liver, we’ve got the Bryans and Serena. The men are not top 10, but still doing OK.

the DA Says:

Don’t know how Tom missed this one but here’s Gasquet ripping into the umpire for giving him a time violation:

Rare to see him so angry. The best line is “you are not my father huh”!

Margot Says:

@the DA
They’d just had a 30 stroke rally and RG was composing himself to serve so, IMHO, the umpire was an idiot.
G. got very annoyed, went red in the face, and was virtually spitting blood.
Umpires need a bit of common sense here. In UK we have a saying “job’s worth” in that, “it’s more than my job’s worth, not to enforce this rule at all times” etc. etc. and it typifies this umpires attitude. Wonderful saying, covers so much.

the DA Says:

@margot – yes, they’ve got to sort this out. It was the latest in a line of wrong moments to issue the warning. The umpires need to get together rethink their approach…otherwise it’s the players who will get the ‘ump. ;)

tennismonger Says:

@ Alok –

My sentiments exactly – though I have to say I’m a little curious to see how long Ferrer can remain the #1 Spaniard (his biggest challenge @ the moment). Most would say probably not much longer, but we’ll see…

As for American tennis, I was more referring to it’s status in the sports food chain rather than how many American players are at or near the top. Are other USA ball games broadcast in the AM? Only if they’re reruns!

alison Says:

Muurays my 2nd favorite player after Rafa,but i love Daveed too,so either way ill be happy with the outcome of todays final,also to see Daveed get a big win in a final over one of the top 4,would be a fantastic achievement.

moam Says:

Obviously Murray should win. But never underestimate the power of heart, determination and consistency. Ferrer embodies all of those qualities as no other.

the DA Says:

Calling all cars, be on the look out for Andy Murray. He hasn’t shown up today. 15 UFEs in the first 5 games! Awful. At least he avoided a bagel.

the DA Says:

That DF to lose the first set says everything. Is it nerves, pressure of claiming No.2? Who knows. Ferrer can look forward to holding his 2nd Masters trophy, soon, at this rate.

Daniel Says:

What’s wrong with Murray?! Why is he playing so bad for no particular reason. Just a bad day in the office? He looks like he knows he won’t win regardless and is affectimg his play

the DA Says:

He gets the break but only a few signs that he’s finding his range. Some inexplicable misses like that FH crosscourt pass on BP. He just looks sluggish like he has weights on his feet.

tennismonger Says:

Guess Muzza’s not a morning person. But he looks to be waling up finally.

tennismonger Says:

That’s “waking” up – see I’m not a morning person either…but it’s past noon now so what’s my excuse?
Shower time!

tennismonger Says:

David Ferrer is a 21st century Harold Solomon. A veritable “Marquis de Sade in short pants,” as Bud Collins would say.

Can Murray take some oxygen on the next changeover? He looks like he may need it.

the DA Says:

They both look like they need oxygen. Idiotic to play the final at the hottest part of the day. It’s been an achy breaky 3rd set.

Eric Says:

This is egregiously awful.

jane Says:

“A veritable “Marquis de Sade in short pants,””

ha ha ha, that quote is hilarious. But not sans-culottes? To me, Ferrer seems of the working class sort. ;)

Only half watching but my goodness a lot of breaks.

jane Says:

This will end on a tiebreak? I remember the Nole/Rafa tiebreak here in 2011. Thrilling.

Eric Says:

Only fitting after this set… Thought Ferrer was going to win on a challenge there for a second, though!

tennismonger Says:

One challenge too many for Davide perhaps! I now defer to tennis channel viewers as NBC has abandoned the spectacle in Miami for “greener” pa$ture$…

Broadcast tennis in USA = Chopped Liver
(ok, that’s the last time I’ll say it…)

Eric Says:

Anticlimactic much? Congrats to Andy, though!

jane Says:

Andy takes over number 2!! Congrats. :) Enjoy the celebration Margot, Colin, racquet and the DA (plus any other longtime Murray devotees i am forgetting presently).

And for the first time since what? 2004? Neither Federer nor Nadal are in one of the two top spots. Interesting… Rafa has a great shot to climb back up there post-Wimbledon. But for now, nice to see Nole and Andy at the top! :)))

Eric Says:

The times, they are a-changin’.

Brando Says:

Yes Muzza!

What a final…. feel very, very sorry for Ferru though- losing in that manner is a tough one to take for him!

9th masters titles and new world number no.2- nice! :-)

the DA Says:

Whew! What a weird match but so compelling in the end. It’s strange to see 2 of the fittest players on the tour struggle so much today. Ferrer cramping, who’d have thunk it?

Thanks Jane, so happy about the No. 2 spot being reclaimed.

Brando Says:

Andy has EARNED the no.2 rank this time round.

He was no.2 in 2009 for a mere 3 weeks: but lets be honest, that had a colossal amount do do with Rafa losing early in FO (losing over 1600 points there) and a complete withdrawal from wimby (losing 2000 points there).

Andy, sportingly, recognized this at the time.

Now though is a completely different tale:

Last 3 slams: AT LEAST finalist in all of them.

Olympic champion, Miami champion and should have won Shanghai also.

He’s earned the ranking for sure this time- no question about it!

Brando Says:

Re fedal:

Neither Rafa or Fed in the top 2 for the first time in 8 years!


That is dominance!

Changing of the guard?

Who knows- but let’s be honest:

Fed is 31.

Rafa is going on 27 and missed 9 months of tennis recently.

ALOT of the change has to do with time and injuries catching up with the legendary duo as much as anything else really!

Kimmi Says:

ah, murray got it in the end. Following the score on my phone wasn’t fun.

Congratulation Muzza. And congrats to ferrer for making it a match.

alison Says:

Congrats Andy on getting the Miami title and the no2 ranking,also commies to Daveed who was so close,and must be bitterly dissapointed that he challenged on that MP with having a play on the ball,so sad the look on his face close to tears,on the bright side he regains the no4 ranking from Rafa,niether player played their best,and the conditions looked tough out there,but for shear drama this was a great contest,Andys the more talented player no doubt about it,but Daveed what a fighter,such a shame on these occasions one player has to loose.

Colin Says:

Confession – I stopped watching half way through the third set. I couldn’t stand the tension!

It’s good to see Andy able to win when he’s not at his best, but let’s face it, he hasn’t hit his real top form in these latest two tournaments. Was that long absence after the Oz Open really a good idea?

Anyway, roll on the clay season, where I think Andy may surprise a few people.

alison Says:

Just wondering,is it right then that Rafa will probably have to beat possibly Andy/Roger and Nole if he is seeded 5th at RG this year then,if he is to win the FO for the 8th time?

Margot Says:

OMG don’t quite know how Andy did that, but glad he did. No 2 yay!
As u said DA, “weird but compelling.” Lol Changing my name to “No nails Margot, and that includes toes!
Commentators saying that conditions were “brutal” not only very humid, but very windy. Both barely walking at the end.

Obladi Says:

As Mary Carillo said in a monotone, “This final is *not* going to bring new tennis fans into the mix. 75 UE’s and only 26 winners
between these guys? This just isn’t working.”

Another said it was women’s tennis.

Obladi Says:

What year did Murray win his last Master’s title?

skeezer Says:

Congrats to the new #2 Andy Murray and his faithful!!!!
On to the Mud, ugh. So do we have to?

Margot Says:

^ The crowd seemed immensely entertained and involved to me, to the extent that the umpire had to keep asking them to be quiet during rallies. They weren’t jeering either.
Conditions were “brutal.” Apparently played at the hottest time of the day because of network demands to televise football at prime time.
The court was slower than RG too -mad.
Heat, humidity, high wind, I suggest some of the arm chair critics show us how it’s done.

alison Says:

Off topic id just like to wish all the tennis-x posters a happy easter,hope your all having a lovely day ;-)

the DA Says:

^ yes, stupid TV networks dictating when tennis starts/finishes.

margot, Ivo Karlovic and Andy Roddick tweeted about the slow court conditions during the match. Roddick’s last tweet was:

“Conditions too slow…Guys dying playing 3 sets. So slow. Makes it impossible to hit winners which results in messed up winners/errors ratio”.

He should know. Miami should either make it green clay or speed up the courts.

tennismonger Says:

Har-Tru? Wouldn’t that slow it down even more?

the DA Says:

^ my point is if they insist on using such a slow surface they might as well make it clay. I’d prefer they used the same surface as Shanghai or Cincinatti just to balance out the schedule a little better.

the DA Says:

@brando – just saw your post above at 2:36 pm. Agreed.

What’s interesting about his season is three biggest titles of the year have been won by three men: Djokovic (AO), Nadal (IW) and Murray (Miami). There has definitely been a slight shift in the guard. Interesting to see how the clay stretch unfolds. Andy has the least to defend and can consolidate his position – especially as he skipped Madrid last year.

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