ATP Rome: Rafael Nadal wins epic clash with Andy Murray - UBITENNIS
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ATP Rome: Rafael Nadal wins epic clash with Andy Murray

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TENNIS ATP Rome – Rafa Nadal fought back from 2-4 down to battle through Andy Murray in a epic three-set thriller with 1-6 6-3 7-5 after two hours and 40 minutes. Nadal will face Grigor Dimitrov who celebrated his 23th birthday with his first ever Master 1000 semifinal. Djokovic and Raonic will square off in the other semifinal. Diego Sampaolo

Interviews, results, order of play, draws of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome

Murray and Nadal have met for the first time since the Japan Open final in 2011 where Murray won after taking the first set with a bagel.

Murray got off to a great start storming to a 5-0 lead in the opening set where he converted on two break opportunities and came close to another bagel against Nadal

He got his first break for 2-0 and backed it up holding serve for 3-0 and got a second break. He saved all the three break points he faced. Nadal held serve in the sixth game to avoid the bagel but Murray closed out the first set in the next game after 37 minutes. In the first set Murray won 30 points to 16. Murray played a perfect first set on serve in which he won 80 percent of his first serve points.

Nadal fought back fending off a break point in the opening game of the second set and earned his first break point. He got the break to take a 2-0 lead and held serve for 3-0. Nadal won 16 points to 1 on his last four serves. Nadal closed out the second set to force the match to the third set after 1 hour and 29 minutes.

Nadal and Murray traded breaks in the opening two games of the decisive set. Nadal first broke serve in the opening game but Murray broke straight back to 1-1. Murray saved a break point in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. Nadal recovered to deuce from a triple break point down but Murray got a break in the sixth game to lead 4-2. Nadal broke straight back for 3-4. Murray saved two break points at 4-4 to go up 5-4.

Nadal held serve to love and got the crucial break to love for 6-5 in the 11th game with his first drop-shot of the match and won 12 of the last 13 points to close out the thrilling match after an epic battle. He had to fight hard to win his previous matches in three sets against Giles Simon and Mikhail Youzhny.

Nadal won the fourth of the 11 matches in which he had to recover from a 1-6 deficit in the first set.

For the first time since Rome 2005 Nadal has won three consecutive matches in the third set on clay in the same tournament.

Murray did not match the semifinal reached in 2011, his best result on the Rome clay so far but he played one of his best matches on clay showing encouraging form 10 days before the start of the Roland Garros.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.

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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUVj537F-wQ

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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