Tennis: Murray beats Federer in Madrid Masters semifinal
By PAUL LOGOTHETIS
By PAUL LOGOTHETIS
MADRID, Spain — Andy Murray reached the Madrid Masters final Saturday after rallying to beat Roger Federer 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 in a rematch of last month's U.S. Open championship match.
The fourth-seeded Briton broke the second-ranked Federer in the final set on his seventh break point chance to reach his second Masters Series final this season.
Murray, who won in Cincinnati, had squandered three break points in the third game and two more in the 11th game. Finally, a deep backhand forced Federer to hit a forehand long.
Murray could face another Flushing Meadows rematch if top-ranked Rafael Nadal gets past surprise semifinalist Gilles Simon of France later Saturday. Murray beat Nadal in the semifinals.
Federer's defeat allowed Nadal to clinch the year-end No. 1 ranking, the first Spanish player to do so in the Open era.
More than half of Murray's 33 winners and eight of his 14 aces came in the final set.
Murray was more aggressive over the final two sets and wore Federer down in the third with serves to the Swiss player's forehand.
"It worked, didn't it?" Murray said. "He missed a lot more (today) since I think he wasn't expecting it."
Federer attacked in the first set to hit 16 winners at the net. That helped him break in the sixth game when the Briton fired long with Federer crowding the net, one of Murray's 41 unforced errors.
Federer's serve, so effective in Friday's quarterfinal victory over Juan Martin del Potro, was steady in the first set. It helped save a break point in the seventh game.
"Against Roger, when you go behind he's very difficult to play because he gets confident," Murray said. "I hit some more winners."
Murray bounced back in the second set with a strong first serve. He didn't drop a point in the set when it was in play.
Federer sat back and pushed Murray out wide on the run, but the 21-year-old Briton tracked down most shots while coming to the net more often to break Federer with a volley winner for 3-1.
That was all Murray would need as he served out to set up the deciding set.
Federer's dominant forehand saved the triple-break chance in the third game, and then he watched as Murray's backhand landed wide of the line to save another break chance in the fifth game.