Sunday, August 15, 2010

Defending Champion Murray to Meet Federer in Final

TORONTO (AP)—Roger Federer advanced to the Rogers Cup final Saturday with 6-1, 3-6, 7-5 victory over Novak Djokovic. Federer will meet defending champion Andy Murray of Britain, who beat top-ranked Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-4 in the first semifinal.

Federer improved to 10-5 all-time against the 23-year-old Djokovic, who won the Rogers Cup title in his debut appearance in 2007. The Swiss star also raised his ranking to No. 2 on the ATP Tour, dropping Djokovic to the third spot.

Murray, the No. 4 seed, needed 1 hour, 44 minutes to complete the victory over Nadal on a muggy afternoon at the Rexall Centre. “You never expect to beat the best players in the world,” Murray said. “But I think if I play my best tennis like I did today, I have a very good chance against all of them.” Murray used his strong baseline game to knock off the top seed.

He put pressure on Nadal throughout the match and kept the unforced errors to a minimum. coUsing powerful topspin shots from the back of the court, Murray moved Nadal from corner to corner. His slice and cut shots also were effective, preventing the speedy Spaniard from getting into a rhythm. “His movements are great from the baseline,” Nadal said.

“They’re fantastic, his movements. And he has unbelievable hands to return the ball. That’s one of the best things of his game.” The players held serve in the opening set until Murray broke for a 5-3 lead. He added three aces in the next game and took the opener in 49 minutes.

After exchanging service breaks in the second set, Murray broke again to go up 5-4 before serving out for the win. He improved to 4-8 against Nadal, with all four victories coming on hard courts. Murray is looking to become the first men’s player to repeat as Rogers Cup champion since Andre Agassi successfully defended his title in 1995.

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