ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal eases past Andy Murray to regain title



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ThrowbackTimes Indian Wells: Rafael Nadal eases past Andy Murray to regain title

In 2007, Rafael Nadal claimed the third notable title on hard courts in Indian Wells, losing the crown in 2008 to Novak Djokovic and hoping to get it back a year later, especially after lifting the trophy at the Australian Open.

After two commanding wins in the desert in March 2009, Rafa had to work hard in the fourth round against David Nalbandian, overcoming that obstacle with a rock-solid performance in the decider and racing past Juan Martin del Potro to book the place in the semis, the fourth straight in Indian Wells.

There, Nadal took down Andy Roddick 6-4, 7-6 to set the final clash against Andy Murray who ousted Roger Federer in three sets, facing the Briton for the eighth time. The Spaniard won their first five encounters before Murray bounced back in the semi-final of the US Open in 2008 and the final in Rotterdam a couple of weeks earlier before Rafa served revenge in Indian Wells, delivering a 6-1, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 21 minutes.

It was the 13th Masters 1000 trophy for Nadal at the age of 20, a feat that will never be repeated in the future, celebrating in Indian Wells for the second time in three years and beating Murray for the sixth time overall to continue with a great run in the first couple of events of the 2009 season.

Nadal lost 11 points in eight service games, never facing a break point, dominating on the return as well to take half of the points in Murray's games and score five breaks from six chances to control the scoreboard all the time.

Both players made around 20 unforced errors and it was Rafa who had the upper hand in the department of winners and forced errors, toppling Murray in the shortest and most extended exchanges to stay in front and pick up the title without having to play his best tennis.

Both players struggled to find the right pace in windy conditions and it was Nadal who grabbed the first break in the fourth game, holding in the next game thanks to a forehand mistake from Andy to extend the advantage to a 4-1.

Rafa grabbed another break with a forehand winner in game six, sealing the opener with a service winner in the next one to move a set away from the title after 40 minutes. Both players held with ease in the opening four games of the second set before Nadal clinched a break with a forehand winner that sent him 3-2 in front, delivering another good hold to forge the gap and take another big step towards the finish line.

Andy sprayed a forehand mistake to suffer another break in game seven, allowing Rafa to move over the top with a hold at love a few minutes later and lift the second crown in the desert.