Brit Andy Murray booked his place in the Miami Masters 2013 final with a 6-7 (3) 6-1 6-2 win over Frenchman Richard Gasquet.
Gasquet started the encounter very strongly, holding serve to love just before breaking Murray for the first time to take a 2-0 lead. The Frenchman’s backhand was working like a Swiss watch, hitting some unbelievable winners and surely even Murray must have been stunned by the way Gasquet got into this semi-final clash. But the Brit didn’t hesitate for too long, picking up his game just in time. After taking Gasquet’s serve to love, he consolidated the break with a superb service game on his own, producing three aces to level the score at 3-3. The Brit suddenly seemed to have found his very best tennis, breaking the Frenchman for the second time and going up 5-3. However, when serving for the set at 5-4, the British no.1 stiffened up a bit, letting Gasquet right back into the set. With both players holding serve in the next two games, a tiebreak was to decide the outcome of the first set. It was the Frenchman who got to the first mini break after Murray’s backhand found the net. From then onwards it was all about Gasquet, who came up with a couple of stunning volleys to underline his dominance in the ‘breaker’, taking a lead in the match.
The second set took a completely different turn, with Murray striking first in the 4th game and taking a 3-1 lead. After the no.2 seed took Gasquet’s serve for the second time in game six, he wrapped up the set on his own serve with a hold to love. The Brit cruised through the set in just 28 minutes, hitting 9 winners to 6 unforced errors and converting 2 out of 2 break points.
With each of the players breaking once at the start of the decider, the score was poised at 1-1. But it was Murray who changed gears once more and after producing some excellent tennis, he took the match into his hands with a 3-1 lead. One more break of serve in the Brit’s favour gave him a chance to serve out the match at 5-2, which he welcomed with arms wide open, setting up a final encounter against the Spaniard Ferrer.
Ferrer reached the final by beating Tommy Haas of Germany 4-6 6-2 6-3.
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