ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Andy Murray tops Kei Nishikori for the first..

by   |  VIEW 1823

ThrowbackTimes Madrid: Andy Murray tops Kei Nishikori for the first..

In Munich 2015, Andy Murray claimed his first ATP title on clay following a thrilling victory over Philipp Kohlschreiber in more than three hours. With no time to celebrate, Murray went to Madrid where he defeated Kohlschreiber again in the second round, beating Marcel Granollers and Milos Raonic in the following matches to secure the place in the semi-final against the last year's Madrid finalist Kei Nishikori.

It was their fifth meeting and the fourth victory for Andy who toppled Kei 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes for the place in the first Masters 1000 final on clay. The Briton lost only 18 points in nine service games, fending off two out of three break chances and mounting the pressure on the other side of the net, securing four breaks from eight opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets and arrange the clash against the two-time defending champion Rafael Nadal.

Andy had 24 winners and 18 unforced errors, forging a massive advantage in the shortest range up to four strokes which had the lion's share in his victory, with Nishikori having the upper hand in the more advanced exchanges, which wasn't enough to keep him involved.

The Japanese fended off a break chance in the third game, landing a return winner at 3-2 for the first break opportunity. Andy saved it with a powerful backhand down the line, closing the game with another excellent backhand to level the score at 3-3.

Murray drew first blood in the seventh game after a deep return, clinching a break and cementing the advantage with a smash winner the sent him 5-3 in front. Ki lost the ground in those moments, spraying a forehand error to give serve again in game nine to hand the opener to the Briton after 45 minutes.

Ready to fight until the end, Kei grabbed a break at 1-1 in set number two, staying in front only for a couple of minutes as Andy pulled the break back straight away following a loose forehand from the Japanese. After three commanding holds on both sides, Nishikori erased a break chance to remain on the positive side of the scoreboard and lock the result at 4-4, hoping to create some damage on the return in the next game.

Instead of that, Murray landed three winners to bring the game home at love and grabbed four straight points on the return in the tenth game to seal the deal and achieve his best result at the Masters 1000 events on clay.