Madrid Flashback: Andy Murray tops Gilles Simon and wins title

Tennis - Murray became the last champion in Madrid on an indoor court in 2008

by Jovica Ilic
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Madrid Flashback: Andy Murray tops Gilles Simon and wins title

Andy Murray claimed his first Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati 2008, playing at a very high level in those months and seeking another notable title in Madrid. It was the last edition of the Madrid Masters on an indoor hard surface, switching to clay and May from 2009 and clearing space for Shanghai, the new penultimate Masters 1000 event.

Novak Djokovic fell in the third round in two tie breaks against Ivo Karlovic, leaving Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Gilles Simon to reach the semi-final and stay on the title course. Simon took down Nadal in a thrilling clash that lasted for three hours and 23 minutes, passing all the obstacles to beat the home favorite and advance to the title match.

Rafa led 6-3, 4-3, 40-30, wasting that and opening a 4-2 advantage in the decider, only to fall in the tie break after being two points away from the finish line. In the other semi-final, Andy Murray ousted Roger Federer 7-5 in the deciding set, earning a late break to secure back-to-back Masters 1000 finals.

On October 19, the Briton defeated the Frenchman 6-4, 7-6 in an hour and 35 minutes for his second consecutive Masters 1000 trophy following another masterclass performance. Andy had more winners and fewer errors, forging the advantage in the shortest and more extended rallies to leave the opponent behind and depart Madrid with the trophy in his hands.

Andy Murray defeated Gilles Simon to lift the trophy in Madrid 2008.

Dropping only 18 points behind the initial shot, Murray never faced break points, converting one out of four chances on the return to take the opener.

Staying focused, the Briton clinched the crucial points in the second set and became the last champion at this venue. After four powerful holds on both sides in the first set, Murray earned a break that sent him 3-2 up. He held at 15 with a smash winner to cement the lead and settle into a fine rhythm.

Andy blasted four winners at 5-4 to secure the opener in style after swift 34 minutes. Both players served well in set number two before the tie break, where Andy moved 3-2 up thanks to a backhand winner. Murray landed another from his forehand for a 4-3 advantage before Simon placed a perfect running forehand down the line winner to open a 5-4 gap and improve his chances.

Facing two set points at 4-6, Murray remained calm and erased them. He hit a return winner at 6-6 to earn a match point and converted it to seal the deal after Simon's volley error and celebrate his second Masters 1000 title in two months.

Andy Murray Gilles Simon
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