SONY OPEN TENNIS
Murray To Face Ferrer In Final
Third-ranked Andy Murray moved through to his second consecutive Sony Open Tennis final on Friday, overcoming No. 8 seed Richard Gasquet 6-7(3), 6-1, 6-2.
After failing to serve out the first set at 5-4 and dropping the ensuing tie-break, Murray regrouped to break the Frenchman five times over six opportunities in the final two sets to prevail in just under two hours. Murray finished with 35 winners to 26 unforced errors and improved to 5-3 against Gasquet.
“The first set was a tough one to lose, because I obviously served for the set. Then at the end of the set, you look up at the stats and I had hit over 20 winners and lost the set,” said Murray. “So I realized I had to cut out the unforced errors. I did a good job of that. Halfway through the second set, I started to find the right way to play and the right shots to go for. I did well after that.”
The second-seeded Murray is seeking his second title at Crandon Park, having lifted the trophy in 2009 (d. Djokovic). He finished runner-up to reigning champion Novak Djokovic last year. The Scot, who will surpass Roger Federer for World No. 2 on Monday, has won 18 of his 20 matches this season.
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“Ferrer has a great attitude on the court. He fights for every single point,” Murray said. “He's not struggling to play well in the big events. So that's why he's there, and [it’ll] be a very tough match on Sunday.”
Ferrer reached his fifth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 final, rallying past 15th seed Tommy Haas 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“I am in the final. I am very happy for that,” said Ferrer. “I will try to do my best to win on Sunday. It's going to be very difficult. I think to win a Masters 1000, I need to play my best tennis.”
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Haas began the match as the superior player to win the first set, showcasing the variety that pushed him through to the last four. After Ferrer hit back to dominate the second set, the Spaniard overcame a break deficit twice in the third set to win the final five games of the match, ending the German’s run in two hours and two minutes. The third seed improved to 3-0 against Haas.
"I tried to fight every point," Ferrer said. "I knew Tommy, in the third set, he was a little bit more tired than me. I knew that. But when I started the third set, I served very badly. But anyway, I tried to forget and to play, focus every point.”
Ferrer is bidding to capture his second Masters 1000 crown, after triumphing in Paris last November (d. Janowicz). The 30 year old has a 25-4 record in 2013, highlighted by successful title defences in Auckland (d. Kohlschreiber) and Buenos Aires (d. Wawrinka) and his second semi-final showing at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). With his performance in Miami, he will overtake Rafael Nadal for No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings.