Murray downs Del Potro to face Djokovic in MiamiApril 4th, 2009 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS
Miami, April 4 (DPA) Andy Murray won another grudge encounter with Argentine rival Juan Del Potro, posting a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 victory to set up a weekend final with Novak Djokovic at the Miami Masters.
Murray improved to 3-0 over Del Potro, a player against whom both previous matches have ended in bitter allegations of gamesmanship from both sides. The pair kept the protests to a minimum in Miami for a change.
Murray cut his unforced errors to the bone, committing just four in the dramatic final set, during which Del Potro stretched a three-minute injury timeout for a groin to twice that allotted time, failing in the end to salvage the match Friday.
Murray ended it after two-and-a-quarter hours, breaking five times against the upset winner in the previous round over top seed Rafael Nadal.
“I had to fight hard in the end. I played a great first set,” said Murray. “I’m sure it’s easy to say that I dropped my level a little bit, but I was playing great tennis in the first set.
“He served really well in that set and put pressure on my service games. In the third I managed to fight back and played well again.”
Del Potro admitted he was exhausted after defeating Nadal.
“I was so tired, last night I had the match in my mind. I could not sleep very well. Today I ran a lot again, and I don’t feel good with my physical (conditioning).
“But I feel happy. I feel confidence with my game and I had a great tournament, so I go home after a good week.”
An irate Roger Federer smashed a racquet for the first time in memory as the normally calm Swiss stumbled to a 6-3, 2-6, 3-6 loss against Djokovic earlier.
Federer reduced his Wilson to scrap in a flash in the third game of a frustrating final set against the third seed as the Serb claimed a 3-0 lead after winning his sixth straight game in a turnaround.
At one point, Federer lost five of six service games.
“I just tried to keep my focus,” said Djokovic. “I was on a roll in this period of the match, so I just tried to continue on playing patiently and win.”
A frustrated Federer will turn his attention to the clay season as he strives for a title this season.
“I struggled with my timing, it was a tough finish for me,” Federer said. “I struggled heavily today.”
Djokovic reversed a run of two straight losses to Federer with his effort in one hour and 46 minutes, striking 20 winners and breaking the second seed six times.
Federer’s form suddenly fell off a cliff after he won a comfortable first set in 31 minutes.
“I’ve had the biggest success against him on hard courts,” Djokovic said. “But I knew also that I always started the matches quite impatiently and more aggressive than I needed to.
“That was the scenario in the first set today. Even though I served really well, I was quite nervous and making lots of unforced errors.
“But then it changed. I was just playing smarter afterwards. I just waited more, was more patient and created the opportunity to make a winner while waiting for his unforced errors,” he said.
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Tags: andy murray, april 4, dpa, gamesmanship, groin, grudge, miami miami, murray downs, novak djokovic, protests, quarter hours, rafael nadal, roger federer, salvage, serb, service games, sixth straight game, third game, timeout, unforced errors