New Delhi: Former world number one Rafael Nadal continued his revival with a convincing straight sets win over second-ranked Andy Murray at the 2015 ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Nadal, who lost to Murray in their last meeting, won a tight first set before dominating the second set for a 6-4 6-1 win at the O2 Arena. With the win, the Spaniard also qualified for the semi-finals of the season ending tournament, one of the few big titles he is yet to win, thanks to Stan Wawrinka’s straight sets win over David Ferrer in the Group Ilie Nastase second match of the day.
In the one hour 33 minute match, the 29-year-old clay court specialists played with conviction against his British opponent, despite losing the very first service game of the match. Nadal responded strongly by breaking Murray in the very next game. Then, after couple of service game holds, he broke Murray in the tenth game for 6-4.
A confident Nadal then took little time to complete the rout in the second set, breaking twice — in the second and sixth games. The set lasted just over half-an-hour. His cause was helped by an uncharacteristic display from Murray. The Briton committed as many as 42 unforced errors, against Nadal’s 21, even though the Spaniard’s winners count of 20 was four less than Murray’s total. Besides, Murray also committed four double faults. It was world no. 5’s 60th match win of the year.
Nadal has won both his Group Ilie Nastase round robin matches. Earlier, he had defeated Stan Wawrinka.
Nadal, a 14-time Grand Slam champion, is yet to win this prestigious title.
In the second match of the day, reigning French Open champion Wawrinka beat Spaniard Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 in one hour 35 minutes to keep his chances alive in the tournament.
The Swiss won the first set in just under an hour’s time, with both the players engaging in a tight duel. It was the Spaniard who started strong, breaking Wawrinka in the fourth game, but the two-time Grans Slam champion broke Ferrer in subsequent games in the ninth and 11th to wrap up the first set.
However, it was a smooth sail for Wawrinka in the second set. He started by breaking Ferrer in the very first game, then doubled the break in the fifth game. The fourth seed wasted the first match point — an easy overhead smash shot, which went long, but it was too little too late for Ferrer as Wawrinka sent down a forehand winner, which seemed to have missed the baseline.
With Nadal already through to the last four, and his Spaniard compatriot Ferrer out of the tournament, it comes to down to the Murray-Wawrinka match to decide the other semi-finalist from the group.
Ferrer had previously lost to Murray in their first round match.