Defending champion Andy Murray had a chance to compete for the third title in Madrid in 2016, beating Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3 after two hours and 11 minutes. In the final replay of 12 months ago, Andy played his best tennis when it mattered most, defending himself from 11 of the 13 break points he played against and converting four return opportunities to seal the deal after a grueling and exciting battle.
It was the Briton's seventh win over the Spaniard and his last clash so far, without ever meeting again, as Andy began struggling with a hip injury shortly after lifting the Madrid crown. Nadal won titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona in the previous weeks, failing to repeat that in the Spanish capital after hitting nearly 30 forced errors.
Nadal couldn't push Andy out of his comfort zone or take advantage of his chances on the return, even though Murray served with just 54%. The Brit had the advantage in the shorter range up to four strokes and stayed in contact with Rafa in the longer exchanges to seal the deal in straight sets and stay on the course of the title.
Due to the rain, the match was played indoors, and Murray had the upper hand in those conditions, with fast first serves and rock-solid backhand shots that negated most of Nadal's attacks and led to many errors from the king of clay.
Rafael Nadal became the brand ambassador for Dutch brewery Amstel
Rafael Nadal recently became the brand ambassador for Dutch brewery Amstel, who availed the Spaniard's services to promote their non-alcoholic beer, among other drinks.
"Well, in the end you can take a 0'0 (non-alcoholic beer) or one that is not 0'0," Nadal said. "There is no problem as long as you do it in a responsible way. I am not a person who does not drink alcohol.
I drink alcohol when I can and when I can't, I don't. I believe that in this life there is time for everything, you just have to find your moments." The Mallorcan revealed that he thinks consuming alcohol is beneficial on a mental level.
"It is true that there are times when you are with friends, you go out to dinner and you do feel like consuming some alcohol," Nadal added. "And, as I have already told you, I have tried to do it, almost always, in a responsible way. I think it is something that can even be good. I don't know at the health level, but I do at the mental level."