In what was billed as a heavyweight showdown Andy Murray dominated the Madrid Open final to win 6-3,6-2 against the four time champion Rafael Nadal. It was Murray’s first Masters title on clay, a week after his maiden career tournament victory on the red surface at the Munich Open.
The second seeded Scot produced a dazzling array of groundstrokes and tamed the defending champion to claim his 10th Masters 1000 title at the Caja Majica. The loss for Nadal not only means he is still without a title on the European clay leading upto the French Open for the first time since 2005, the Mallorcan also drops out of the top five in the ATP rankings for the first time in 10 years as he falls to number 7 in the new rankings.
Murray who had lost all his six previous meetings with Nadal on clay got off to a flying start as he broke Nadal’s serve in the second game. The Spaniard failed to convert on 2 break point chances in the seventh game and one in the ninth game as Murray served his way out of trouble to claim the first set 6-3. He then quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead with a double break and his new found confidence on clay was evident as he remained composed despite netting a simple volley in the third game of the second set that would have given him a double break. Once he broke in that game he was always in command as the error prone Spaniard succumbed 6-2 in the second set.
When signing his name on the camera after the match, Murray wrote “Marriage Works!” The 27 year old was presented with the trophy by Spanish tennis great Manuel Santana who celebrated his 77th birthday on Sunday. The Dunblane native who is 9-0 since he married his long time girlfriend Kim Sears last month, also recorded his 33th tour level title and is now 30-5 for the season and trails Nadal 6-15 in career meetings. Nadal dropped to 23-8 in 2015 having won only the Buenos Aires Open ATP 250 this year. Murray is only the fourth player to beat Nadal in a clay court final, joining Serbia’s Novak Djokovic (4 times), Switzerland’s Roger Federer (2 times) and Argentina’s Horacio Zeballos (once)
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]