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Murray outplays Federer, Nadal beats Roddick

Reuters
Mar 22, 2009 at 01:10pm IST

Indian Wells (California): Britain's Andy Murray took advantage of an error-prone Roger Federer to reach the final of the ATP event at Indian Wells with a commanding 6-3 4-6 6-1 victory on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Scot fended off a spirited fightback by the Swiss in the second set to wrap up the win in one hour 48 minutes and will meet world number one Rafael Nadal in Sunday's title match.

Spanish left-hander Nadal, champion at Indian Wells in 2007, beat American favourite and seventh seed Andy Roddick 6-4 7-6 in the second semi-final at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, clinching the tiebreak 7-4.

NEW HEIGHTS: Andy Murray hits a return against Roger Federer during the semi-finals of the ATP tennis tournament.

Murray, who has won ATP titles this season in Rotterdam and Doha, where he beat Federer in the last four, broke the Swiss twice to sweep through the first set in half an hour.

Although Federer raised his performance to level the match, Murray regained control by breaking in the fourth and sixth games of the third to seal victory in one hour 48 minutes.

"Every time I play Roger, I feel like I got a shot to win," fourth-seeded Murray told reporters after beating Federer for the sixth time in eight encounters.

"That's one of my best wins against him for sure. I'm playing the match how I want it to go. If I started trading big groundstrokes with someone like Federer, I think he likes that. I haven't done it against him, and I don't do it against many people," added Murray, who became the first Briton to reach the final here since Tim Henman in 2004.

Federer, the number two seed who won the Indian Wells title for three consecutive years from 2004, piled up 32 unforced errors to Murray's 15.

"Way too many errors today," the Swiss world number two told reporters after struggling with his backhand throughout the match.

"I struggled with the rhythm today (Saturday). He played unbelievable in the end, and I made many mistakes." Federer squandered three break points in the fourth game of the match before being broken in the fifth when he struck the net cord with a backhand and the ball bounced out.

Murray, playing with fluency, also broke in the ninth to take the opening set when an attempted sliced backhand by the Swiss as he advanced toward the net sailed wide.

After early breaks were traded in the second, Federer broke Murray again in the seventh game after hitting a superb crosscourt forehand winner before twice holding serve to clinch the set.

Federer, repeatedly urged on by the crowd, failed to maintain his comeback in the third, being broken in the fourth and sixth games as a resurgent Murray completed a deserved victory to reach his third ATP final this year.

Australian Open champion Nadal, who has won three of the last four grand slam singles titles, broke Roddick in the seventh game before clinching the first set in 40 minutes.

With the wind picking up in the second, both players were twice broken before Nadal, who failed to serve out when leading 5-4, dominated the tiebreak to book his place in the final.

"It was important I played better in the tiebreak," Nadal said. "The wind was hard but that's the reason why I had more problems having the match under control, two times the break. "I enjoy playing tennis and being here and sure, I enjoy being in another final."

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