Murray claims the Miami Masters after epic 3-set battle against Ferrer
Andy Murray is the new world number two as the Brit came through a touch match during which he had to save a match point to win his second Miami Masters title.
The British number one was completely out of contention in the first set as Ferrer broke serve and edged ahead just in the second game of the match. The world number five entertained the crowd in Miami heat with some hard-hitting tennis. The Spaniard cruised through the first set without giving Murray any opportunities to break. Murray picked up some momentum at latter stages of the first set by getting himself on the scoreboard with his first hold followed by his first break, which was more due to Ferrer’s hesitancy on his forehand shots. However, at 5-2 down it was only a minor achievement for Murray as Ferrer took the first set. The last game of the set highlighted everything that was going wrong for the Brit, as he netted the final ball to raise his unforced error tally to 19.
The second set consisted of ferocious hitting as neither man was prepared to let go of the title. It was Murray with the breakthrough as he broke Ferrer’s serve on the third game of the set. Two misdirected forehands in a row from Ferrer handed Murray the chance to get back in the match. The hard-hitting Spaniard held onto his serve to make sure that the deficit was only by one game. The resistance from Ferrer was soon rewarded as he broke Murray’s service game. The 30-year-old who has a reputation for getting every single ball back in the court made it 4-4, leaving him two games from clinching a famous win. The Spanish number two couldn’t celebrate for too long though, as Murray regrouped and converted the only advantage point he received in the next game. Murray wrapped up the second set, which lasted over 54 minutes, to let the match go into the decider.
In the decider both players showed signs of fatigue as neither was able to consistently hold on to their serves. Murray was quick off the mark to attack Ferrer’s serve and stamp his authority on the final serve, however, the 25-year-old was also unable to keep his unforced error tally down as he handed Ferrer his own service game straight away. Four brutal games went by, with both players successfully breaking each other’s serves. Finally it was Ferrer who became the first man to hold onto his serve and get his nose in front.
A well thought-out game plan wrong-footed Murray on a few occasions, much to the frustration of the Scot. The British number one was moving uneasily, yet still managed to hold onto his serve as wind picked up over the open court. Murray was ruthless as Ferrer stepped up to serve once more. Aggressive forehand down the line and a monstrous return of serve had set the US Open Champion perfectly to brush aside his opponent. However, it wasn’t going to be as easy as Ferrer roared back to level up the games yet again and the set went to a tiebreak. Ferrer’s competitive edge lacked in the tiebreaker as Murray won it comfortably 7-1. The only point the Spaniard managed to record was on his serve, but Murray went up a gear to cruise through and win in Miami with 2-6, 6-4, 7-6.
Murray is now the world number two once again since 2009, as he leapfrogged Roger Federer to edge closer to his rival Novak Djokovic.
Umida Ibrahimova, tennis correspondent
ATP Miami Master 1000 men’s singles final result:
A Murray vs. D Ferrer 2-6 6-4 7-6