Indian Wells Flashback: Rafael Nadal destroys Andy Murray and claims title
by JOVICA ILIC | VIEW 4756
Rafael Nadal claimed his third notable hard-court crown in Indian Wells 2007. Rafa lost the title to Novak Djokovic in 2008 and returned to the desert as one of the favorites a year later following the Australian Open trophy.
After two commanding wins, Rafa worked hard in the fourth round against David Nalbandian. The Spaniard overcame that obstacle with a rock-solid performance in the decider before racing past Juan Martin Del Potro to book a place in the fourth straight Indian Wells semi-final.
Nadal took down Andy Roddick 6-4, 7-6 to set the final clash against Andy Murray, their eighth on the Tour. The Spaniard won their first five encounters before Murray bounced back in the 2008 US Open semi-final and the final in Rotterdam a couple of weeks earlier.
Rafa served revenge in Indian Wells and delivered a 6-1, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 21 minutes to lift the trophy in style.
Rafael Nadal destroyed Andy Murray in the 2009 Indian Wells final.
It was the 13th Masters 1000 trophy for Nadal at 20, a feat that no one will repeat in the future.
He celebrated in Indian Wells for the second time in three years and defeated Murray for the sixth time overall to continue with a great run at the start of the season. Nadal lost 11 points in eight service games, never facing troubles on serve and dominating the return to take half of the points in Murray's games and score five breaks from six chances.
Both players made around 20 unforced errors, and Rafa had the upper hand in the segment of winners and forced errors. He toppled Murray in the shortest and most extended exchanges to stay in front and pick up the title without playing his best tennis.
Both players struggled to find the right pace in windy conditions, and Nadal grabbed the first break in the fourth game. Thanks to Andy's forehand mistake, he held in the next one to extend the advantage to 4-1. Rafa grabbed another break with a forehand winner in game six and sealed the opener with a service winner a few minutes later to move a set away from the title after 40 minutes.
In the second set's opening four games, both players held with ease before Nadal clinched a break with a forehand winner that sent him 3-2 in front. The Spaniard delivered another good hold to forge the gap and take another big step towards the finish line.
In game seven, Andy sprayed a forehand mistake to get broken again and allowed Rafa to move over the top with a hold at love and lift the second crown in the desert.