Murray Tests Nadal on Clay – But Rafa Prefails

Clay court Legend Rafael Nadal needed to produce his best tennis to beat Murray in the Scot’s first ever clay court semi final. The Spaniard brought an end to the Scot’s best ever week on the red stuff with a straight-sets victory 6-2 7-6 (7-4) at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Nadal, winner of the last four Monte Carlo titles and not dropped a set since 2006 in the event was up against the Scot for the second time on clay. Most thought Murray would lose easily and that’s the way match seemed to be heading with Nadal taking the first comfortably and moving a break ahead in the second.

With Nadal serving for the match at 5-3, Murray finally showed a glimmer of hope that someone else on tour could match Nadal on clay, breaking back and forcing the set into a tie break.

Murray did well to stay with Nadal in the tie break hitting back after twice being mini-break down, and with Murray serving at 4-5, the most crucial point between the two was played. Murray did enough that would have beat every other player on tour but Nadal and somehow the Spaniard managed to win the point.

Nadal will now play Novak Djokovic in the final after the Serbinator beat Stan Wawrinka 4-6 6-1 6-3. A defeat by Wawrinka would have seen Djokovic slip a place in the rankings and Murray become the world number three, that however will now have to wait.

Djokovic and Murray though will both close the gap on Roger Federer, with Federer dropping points this week and both Murray and Djokovic gaining.