Murray Pummels Nadal in Front of His Home Crowd in Madrid


  • Murray Does the Unthinkable

Well, what a nice surprise that was on a Sunday afternoon! I had already conceded the final to Nadal after Murray defeated Nishikori 6-3, 6-4 yesterday. So when Murray won the first set against Nadal today and went a break up in the second set, I sat up straight. Murray played very well to beat Nishikori but so did Nadal to beat Berdych 7-6(3), 6-1. And given that this was on clay and Nadal owns Murray 15-5 in the head-to-head, I didn’t really see how Murray could win.

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But Nadal’s level dropped once again in the final and Murray took full advantage. Murray became visibly nervous in the second set, especially when he missed a drive volley with an open court in front of him on break point to get the second break at 2-0. I thought he had thrown it away there, but thank God he set up another break point and took it. And when he consolidated that break to take a 4-0 lead you had to believe that the big upset was on the cards. Murray still appeared nervous but to his credit held on to win 6-3, 6-2.

  • Nadal Falls Out Of the Top 5 For the First Time in Ten Years

What?! This good old thrashing means Nadal falls out of the top five to number seven in the rankings for the first time in ten years. What an awesome situation! With this win, Murray basically shattered all the confidence Nadal built up during Madrid with his cakewalk draw, and there is no telling who will be next to cash in at Rome. Since I heard of the withdrawal of the Djoker from Madrid I thought it could be a risk because had Nadal won Madrid it would have given him a lot of confidence.

  • Murray’s Revival

And when Nishikori lost I thought he had gotten lucky again. But big credit to Murray for the way he played last week in Munich and now in Madrid. And that after I said Murray is a non-factor on clay before he won Munich. I guess I un-jinxed him! All of a sudden, he is a serious factor on clay. He may even be a surprise winner of the French Open if he keeps this up. I’m not gonna say he won’t be because then I may just un-jinx him again and I don’t want him to win the French Open.

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Married life and beards seem to agree with Murray

But credit to him for how he got his act together this year after he was still recovering from surgery in 2014. He’s been very solid this year in the big events and is second in the race behind the Djoker. As far as the live ATP rankings go Berdych breaks into the top four for the first time in his career I think, just ten points ahead of Nishikori. That is also deserved with the way he has been playing. Not only does Nadal fall to number seven in the rankings but he has 2600 points to defend in the next three weeks!

  • Rome and Paris

As you’d expect the draw in Rome is favorable again for him, but his confidence just took another hit and who knows who he could lose to. Of course, the Djoker is back too and he will be tested because he has Nishikori in his quarter and Murray in his half. But it is good to know he is back just in case Nadal makes the final again. If Nadal wins Rome he is again the outright favorite for the French Open probably, despite everything that has happened of late. So it is good to know the anti-Nadal is back.

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Nadal was looking back to his best again against Berdych but like I said getting thrashed like this by Murray can’t be good for his confidence. I still think he probably needs to win a tournament before Paris for his confidence, but you’re never gonna count him out there either. If however he does not win the French Open this year he will be in serious trouble in the rankings. Already he could face Djokovic or Murray in the quarter-finals in Paris which could easily cause an upset.

In the end, the Djoker’s withdrawal from Madrid was a very good decision because he will be rested and ready for his title defense in Rome and for another onslaught on the career slam in Paris. But let’s see what happens in Rome first. All the top players are present and all of them want that trophy and to boost their French Open chances in the process. This should be another very interesting week indeed!

 

  • Highlights

  • Match Stats

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The is in your court.

Posted in Madrid, Masters 1000.

43 Comments

  1. What a sweet victory for Murray. He was simply awesome tonight. Blasted Nadal into submission. A double break as well in the second set. Murray has done us all proud today…except for nadal fans!

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Alex. You guys been scarce of late. I know Joe is working a lot so that is understandable. I guess you guys are waiting for Roger!

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    Alex Reply:

    Yeah I’ve been quite busy as well and I’ve been getting used to the new format of the site. I like it btw. But in any case most of the time my comments are limited to whether or not I can add something useful to the conversation or if I feel I want to praise a particular player for an outstanding performance. Oh and of course I always comment on your posts about nadal losing because it fills me with joy. can’t stand the guy.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Haha, I have no problem with that! I prefer people commenting when they have something useful to add instead of writing mindless drivel. It’s always nice to get comments but it’s better to get none rather than annoying ones. Not that many of my readers do that, but there have been a few exceptions. I’m glad you like the new format by the way. It’s still a work in progress, but I am much happier with it myself. Also, the content of my writing has changed somewhat so there is a double change for people to get used to and I appreciate the ones who have stuck around. And yes, seeing Nadal lose fills me with joy too and I can’t stand the guy either. Something very funny happened on twitter last night. A Nadal fan told me that I should seriously consider deleting my blog because I’m filled with hate for Nadal. Looks like I’m still on the right track then! :-)

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    Alex Reply:

    Haha there should be a warning somewhere for nadal fans I guess. The truth is it would be a travesty for nadal to keep winning french opens and to then be known as the goat because he dominated one surface. This pretty much sums up why I like it every time nadal loses, because the less confidence he has and the more confidence other players have over him, the less chance he has of achieving his goals.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Right Alex. It would indeed be a travesty. A GOAT can’t have a resume of something like 1-12-2-2-0.

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  2. Murray deserved this one a lot. Long time coming as well. Last year he surely should have defeated Nadal in Rome. And he was very close this year at the Aus Open Final as well. I think at this rate Djokovic and Murray might actually start dominating like how we thought in 2013. And by the time Wimbledon comes around Murray might possibly even be the favorite. Roger better do well in Rome if he wants to take any confidence at all into the French and more importantly Wimbledon.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Murray surprised me a lot today. I never thought he quite had the game to really beat the best on clay. For one thing I thought he hit the ball too flat. But he sure proved a point this week. You are right Djokovic and Murray can really dominate in the next few years if Murray keeps this up. And you are also right about Roger. He needs to make at least semis in Rome I’d say. There are so many guys playing well on clay now that he needs to make the best of his current clay form. Or else come the FO he will have a hard time making semis there, and that in turn could affect his Wimby chances. Gotta keep that confidence up!

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  3. And now Nadal has to win Rome and hope neither Berdych nor Nishikori reach the semis in Rome to get the 4th seed at the French.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    It seems so Ajay. A tall order for Nadal if you ask me. Unless Fed does him a favor again and removes Berdych, while the Djoker beats Kei and Nadal wins the tourney. Seems unlikely.

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    Ajay Reply:

    By the way I just went a little deeper and calculated the ranking points till the US Open and if Roger wants to be the second seed there as well then he needs to win more points than Murray from now until Cincinatti. I think Roger should realize than seeding does matter and he should pay some importance to the Masters 1000 as well.

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    Alex Reply:

    ok I make this post without giving it much thought, but now fed is seeded second in most tournaments. How has that helped him exactly since nadal is getting the cakewalk draws?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    There isn’t much difference between being seeded 2nd and 4th Alex. As long as you are in the top 4 you don’t meet a top 4 member before the semis. It’s just nice for Roger to be ranked second at his age. Being ranked #1 would be amazing of course, but for that the Djoker is way too far ahead.

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    Ajay Reply:

    Well Roger did get easy draws some times. Take French Open 2013 for example. The point is if Fed is seeded second at least he avoids Djokovic till the finals. If he needs to win a Grand Slam he needs all the luck he can get.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    True, it is slightly better to be top 2 than top 4 for draws. But he can still get Nadal in his half or quarter for the FO. And for Wimby he can get Murray who will be a big danger there.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Yup, Alex!! As I commented in earlier post, his points are dropping off like pants on a loose hip! Don’t wanna a repeat of, was it 2011 or 2013 , where he was top 4 and then just slip sliding happily away right down to 8!! It takes a lot of work to get up again; especially now at 33 and the 2nd tier and young players are coming into their own. If he doesn’t do well this spring/summer,, I can easily see him slip out of top 4.

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  4. Well well, Ru-an, its working. The amazing Nadull winless streak continues… :-) credit to Nadull though, I actually expected him to fall at birdy’s hands… But he managed to squeeze one more win before the inevitable. Ouch, the burn! If Nole is watching, he shd go all out to defend Rome and utterly shatter Nadull’s confidence (if any). What an amazing story… Zero clay Titles and zero slams, zero Masters 1000. Perfect year for Nadull fans, no?

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Lol. You are an even better anti-jinxer than me!

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    Veronica Reply:

    Haha Ben! You better continue to stay out of sight until your prediction comes to complete fruition!! So far, so good! Wouldn’t wanna mess it up, would you?! :-)

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  5. I actually got to watch the match today, and my main takeaway about Nadal is that he seemed way off his game today. It seemed like he dumped tons of balls in the net and was just spraying balls all over. Not his normal self, for sure. What injury will be at fault this time? :-)

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Yes, he was very much off his game JDub. But the thing is he is gaining confidence all the time. Come the FO he will probably be full of confidence again, so it is very dangerous to write him off at this point.

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    Veronica Reply:

    You couldn’t have said it any better, Ru-an. It’s all about getting the matches in, playing himself into confidence for Nadal. He’s progressively gone a little deeper in every tourney despite not winning any titles. And that is very positive and still an ominous sign. Can’t say the same for a certain GOAT :-) although I must say Nadal does look a shadow of himself and has past his peak.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    You mean playing himself into confidence for the FO? :-P

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  6. Surprise surprise. Who would have thought that Murray would beat Nadal in straight sets on Nadal’s home turf? Never mind giving him the worst possible beat-down in a clay final. I read someone’s tweet which said that more people have landed on the moon (8) than the no. of people to have beaten nadal in a clay final, to highlight the significance of this win. Now there are already some ridiculous speculations that Murray might win FO before Djokovic and troll the tennis world. Although Murray is doing extremely well(yesterday’s was his first big-3win since wimby 13), he still has some way to go if he wants to beat Djokovic.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Hey, Nakul. I don’t know if it’s ridiculous that Murray could win the FO but you know how people are. They are quick to jump on the bandwagon. I still favor Nadal and Djokovic ahead of him.

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    Nakul Reply:

    I forgot to add the point that the speculations were not just about Murray winning FO first, but him winning the career grand slam before Djokovic. That’s why I thougt they were ridiculous.

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    Veronica Reply:

    Stranger things have happened, Nakul! Never say never!

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  7. Ru-an, a bit late in responding to the Nadal/Murray match, which I did not see. However, reading the result was truly a shock to me (with a smile on my face)….so the trophy was not bitten, after all!
    Cheers,
    Dolores

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Nope, but it could still be bitten at the FO Dolores. As long as it’s bitten there these small victories won’t matter much.

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    Dolores Reply:

    Guess, I have to THINK ahead more, Ru-an. You bet, it will matter greatly if the FO trophy gets bitten. Am hoping for the opposite to happen.

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    Veronica Reply:

    “Guess I have to THINK ahead more….” Lol, grandma! So cute!

    [Reply]

    Veronica Reply:

    Once bitten, twice shy, Ru-an :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Ah, she’s back ladies and gentleman, and what a comeback it is! As the oracle of this blog what is your feeling about the FO. Will we see a tenth bite or will we finally be liberated?

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  8. No one saw this coming! That’s why we love tennis! its been a long time coming as Ajay said. Thoroughly deserved and I’m really happy for Murray. I like his more aggressive approach standing so close to the baseline, some powerful hitting as well, doing so well to get Nadal out of position and his trademark of attacking the second serves so well. Most impressive I thought was he was emotionally very controlled. No cursing, no getting down on himself!! Almost strange, haha! But it has to be said that Nadal was crap. He is going through what Roger has been going through now as Fedal gets older – the lack of consistency, confidence, the unexplainable one day brilliance, next day shank fest! In fact I think I haven’t watched a Nadal match where he shanked so much! I suppose Fedal is more intricately linked than we thought ha! And so the Nadal spanking continues! And I don’t mean on the court, I mean on this blog, haha! Wow! So many anti Nadalites here!!

    [Reply]

    Jiten Reply:

    When someone shanks!
    The opposition Spanks!

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  9. Btw what’s the moral of this victory, guys?! Marriage!! Worked like a charm for both Andy and Djoker and Roger of course. Just imagine what can happen when Nadal gets hitched!!

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

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  10. One more thing. If Nadal does in fact not win the FO this year then I still do not think he is finished by any means. Watching federer’s progress as well as murray’s progress over the last two years it’s clear to see that their respective injuries and/or operations (in murray’s case) caused them to take a few steps back. Fed was on the up while it may have been too soon for Murray in last year’s Australian open so federer beat him easily. Last year Nadal was still playing relatively well during the clay court season while murray was still recovering but lets not forget, murray still put up a good fight against nadal. we actually just wrote it off as Murray choking against Nadal as usual. But what if it was more than that? Since then and especially after taking on his new coach Murray has come very far and is getting back to top form, barring any injury he will definitely be one of the favourites for Wimby again this year. Anyway the point is that I believe that Nadal is not yet fully recovered a back to his very best (ok this much is obvious) but that he may actually do better next year. He may well go on one final tear next year and win a couple of slams. I think he’s too mentally strong to give up right now. The only thing I am hoping for is that other players can now see how Nadal can be beaten and then try and implement the strategy against him themselves. I still see many players constantly going to Nadal’s backhand, and although this is indeed a good strategy against him, it doesn’t last. Djokovic has shown that first you have to attack his forehand. Murray did the same thing in the madrid final. Onwards and Upwards. :-)

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Good comment Alex. You are right, Nadal will probably win Rome and the FO. He is still in recovery and the Madrid final loss was progress again. He lost against Fognini in Barcalona, didn’t he? Recovery takes time after so many bad losses. But he may also be vulnerable at the FO if he doesn’t put in a good performance in Rome. He is still lacking that tournament title to boost his confidence.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    I actually don’t think he will win the french this year. But I believe he will be back stronger next year and could win it in 2016.

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    Ru-an Reply:

    Uncle Toni seems optimistic http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sm5tdr

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    He’s not completely wrong. I won’t say anymore for fear of jinxing things. But I’m quietly optimistic about this year’s French Open.

    [Reply]

    Ru-an Reply:

    Right. He has a point, but he is also trying to sound confident.

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