Tag Archive | "Shanghai Masters"

Murray Endures Gritty Ferrer to Bag his Second Sony Open Trophy

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Murray Endures Gritty Ferrer to Bag his Second Sony Open Trophy

Britain’s Andy Murray had more at stake today than the Miami title. Hoisting the Sony Open trophy would signify the number two world ranking. The reigning U.S. Open defeated Spaniard David Ferrer 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 to obtain his second Sony Open prize.

Ferrer, who was making his maiden appearance in the final in Miami, his fifth at the ATP Masters 1000 level, knew from the outset it would be an uphill battle. Ferrer’s first ATP Masters 1000 title came in November after being denied three times prior.

Although Murray had a slight 6-5 lead in their head to head, the Spaniard has just one win on hardcourt. The others have been on clay. In 2011, these two collided at the Masters tournament in Shanghai, Murray triumphed in two sets.

Moreover, history was not on Ferrer’s side. Three compatriots, including Rafael Nadal three times, have gone down in the final at the Miami Masters. Also, Ferrer has an abysmal mark against top five players, 0-12.

Nevertheless, this was far from the Spaniard’s mind as he salvaged two break points in his opening service game, then went on a five game run to lead 5-0 in the first set.

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Nothing but Nadal in 2010

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Nothing but Nadal in 2010

No room for dispute, 2010 was a banner year for Rafael Nadal.  The Spaniard captured three majors, regained the world number one ranking and completed the career grand slam.  As such, Nadal’s domination left no ambiguity as to who was the most outstanding player in 2010.  With the year at a close, here’s a snapshot of the stories which caught the headlines this foregone season.

After a slow start, Nadal found his footing on clay with his first calendar title at the Monte-Carlo Masters.  Subsequent to banking titles at the Masters in Rome and Madrid, Nadal culminated his clay campaign with his fifth big prize at Roland Garros.  At Wimbledon, the Spaniard defended his 2008 title to seize his second major at the All England Club.  Finally, at U.S. Open, with troublesome obstacles removed from his half of the draw,  Nadal reached his first final in New York.  Nadal stared down a strong challenge from Novak Djokovic to hoist his first U.S. Open trophy.  With a total of seven titles, Nadal topped his peers in 2010.

For Roger Federer, this year was a mixed bag.  After grabbing his sixteenth major in Australia, Federer had a fourth round loss at the Sony Ericsson Open to Tomas Berdych which sent him into a tailspin.  As defending champion at the French Open, Federer was beaten in the quarterfinals by Robin Soderling which ended an unprecedented streak of twenty-three consecutive semifinals at the majors.  Furthermore, defending champ Federer was ousted in the quarterfinals by Berdych at Wimbledon.  In fact, Federer’s ranking dropped to number three, his lowest since November 2003.  Yet, with his second title of the season at the Cincinnati Masters, Federer seemed again on the right road.  However, Federer failed to take advantage of match points in the U.S. Open semifinals against Djokovic and went down in flames.  After the New York fiasco, Federer resurfaced with a fresh coach, Paul Annacone, and won three of four finals including the ATP World Tour finals where he toppled Nadal.

The Australian Open appeared a turning point for Andy Murray.  Easily handled in the final by Federer, Murray could do nothing right with the racket for a while. Eventually at Wimbledon, Murray advanced to the semifinals only to be disappointed by Nadal.  With the defense of his title at the Rogers Cup, Murray seemed to be back.  But, another setback occurred at the U.S. Open where Murray was stunned in the third round by Stanislas Wawrinka.  In besting Federer in the Shanghai Masters final, Murray looked to be heading for a strong finish.  Yet, at the ATP World Tour Finals, Murray took another  downturn.  This was emblematic of the Scot’s tumultuous year which included a rupture with coach Miles Maclagan, a brief ceding of the world number four spot to Soderling and only two titles.

With solely two titles and a U.S. Open final appearance, Djokovic had a so-so year.  The Serb even ascended to number two for a bit, but finished at number three.  While individual success was sparse, Djokovic led his country to its first Davis Cup title.  Along with countryman Viktor Troicki, Djokovic mounted a brilliant comeback to stop France from a tenth trophy.

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All the Answers for Federer: Murray Aces Shanghai Final

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All the Answers for Federer: Murray Aces Shanghai Final

After being disappointed at the U.S. Open, Roger Federer and Andy Murray are hoping to finish the season on a positive note.  Therefore, reaching the final of the Shanghai Rolex Masters is undoubtedly a good start.  However, only one player could walk away triumphant.  Murray schooled Federer 6-3,6-2 to win his second title of the year and his sixth masters’ shield.

Essentially, the initial game orchestrated the course of the match.  Following Federer’s forehand error on game point, Murray connected on a forehand crosscourt pass for a winner.  When Federer sent another forehand crosscourt wide, Murray pocketed the break.  Once Murray easily consolidated, on a backhand crosscourt miscue by Federer, he again had break point.  However, Federer came up with the shots to erase the deficit and eventually guard serve.  Serving at 2-1, Murray dumped a forehand into the net giving Federer his first break point.  But, Federer squandered that opportunity with  an ill advised dropshot.  As Murray cruised on serve, Federer struggled to keep the arrears to just one break.  Down 3-5, Federer opened serve with a double fault.  Later, by sticking a forehand up the line pass, Murray fabricated double set point.  With another sublime forehand crosscourt pass, Murray closed out the set.

The key to Federer’s success is his ability to alter strategy once cornered.  When a backhand volley winner and forced miscues from Murray gave Federer double break point, the impression was that a comeback was eminent.  Yet, Federer could not capitalize as his backhand crosscourt found the net and his forehand sailed long.  After holding serve for 1 all, Federer again manufactured double break point.  Still, with Murray’s backhand down the line winner, Federer was at deuce and zero for six on break points.  Ultimately, Murray wrapped up the game with an ace for 2-1.  The next game, by pushing a forehand long, Federer gifted Murray a break point.  On the subsequent point, influenced by Murray, the line judge signaled a close shot long.  Federer challenged and the ball was shown to skid off the line.  The point was replayed in lieu of Federer being awarded the point, this proved costly.  As Federer’s forehand landed wide, Murray took a 3-1 lead, then consolidated with a love game.  Untroubled on his serve, Murray extended his advantage to 5-2.   Serving to prolong the match, Federer dumped a backhand volley into the net off a low stroke by Murray handing the latter championship point.  Federer managed to wipe out it and later obtained game point with an ace. However, with his twenty-ninth unforced error, Federer stared at deuce.  Shortly thereafter, Federer buried a forehand up the line into the net, his eighteenth on that stroke, to donate to Murray his second championship point.  When Federer flubbed the backhand volley, Murray collected the title.

In dissecting his victory, Murray felt his serve was an important variable “I served really big today. . .got a lot of free points . . .my second serve was especially good this week”.  Murray improved his reco

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Davydenko Destroys Nadal In Shanghai

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Davydenko Destroys Nadal In Shanghai

img_4089With the men’s year end tournament moved to London, Shanghai gained a Masters 1000 series tournament. In the finals, Nikolay Davydenko stamped his name on the inaugural trophy by beating Rafael Nadal 7-6, 6-3. For Davydenko, it was his third career Masters’ shield and his fourth title of the season.

Shanghai marked Nadal’s return to the finals since his hiatus due to knee tendonitis in June. The Spaniard looked in great form all week.  Yet, Davydenko was no slouch.  The Russian took out second seed Novak Djokovic in the semifinals after losing the first set.  In many respects, this match was reminiscent of the 2008 Sony Ericsson final with Davydenko assuming the role of aggressor. Immediately, that tactic paid dividends for the Russian, particularly in the long rallies.

With Nadal serving at 1 all, Davydenko surprised his rival by crushing a forehand winner up the line. Then, by producing some great angles, Davydenko came up with a backhand volley winner for love-40.  Subsequently, Davydenko secured the break with a swing volley winner.  Afterwards, with a couple of forehand winners up the line, Davydenko consolidated the break for 3-1.  Next, a backhand error by Nadal gave Davydenko a 15-40 edge and the opportunity at a safety net.  However, with Davydenko missing two forehands up the line, Nadal eventually got out of jail. Serving at 4-3. Davydenko’s miscue on a forehand gave the Spaniard his first break point. Despite the Russian erasing that one, later, another forehand mistake resulted in Nadal leveling the set at 4 a piece. At 4-5, Davydenko made a forehand crosscourt error to gift Nadal set point at 30-40.  But, after flubbing a previous overhead, Davydenko handled a lob for winner and kept the set alive. Ultimately, the set went to a tiebreaker. With a backhand volley winner on a high ball, Davydenko obtained a mini-break for 1-0.  Shortly thereafter, Nadal sponged out Davydenko’s edge with a spectacular backhand reflex volley. Unrelenting, daredevil Davydenko fired another backhand down the winner to secure another mini-break for 3-2.  When Nadal splayed a forehand off a deep return, Davydenko extended the gap to 6-3. Later, with a backhand down the line winner, Davydenko put a period on the set.

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