In one of the more surprising finals in recent memory, Andy Murray defeated Rafael Nadal in straight sets to lift the Mutua Madrid Open title on Sunday. It was Murray’s second win at this event but his first since the tournament moved to clay.
Murray stormed to a 3-0 start against Nadal and looked the sharper of the two competitors. While the Spaniard woke up shortly thereafter, he was unable to regain the break and dropped the opening set. Murray then added to his momentum by breaking for an early 2-0 lead in the second set before he stunned the crowd by breaking again for a 4-0 lead. From there, he finished the match 6-3,6-2 for his first win against Nadal on clay.
“I think I wasn’t expecting this a couple of weeks ago, so when things are unexpected, it feels nicer,” admitted Murray. “I didn’t feel like I put too much pressure on myself the past couple of weeks, which is a good thing.
“Obviously to win a Masters 1000 on clay for me is a step in the right direction. It’s something I had never done before. So that’s good progress there. To win against Rafa on clay in a final in Spain is an extremely difficult thing to do, and I’m proud that I’ve managed to do that.”
Nadal, who commit far too many unforced errors for comfort, dropped to 8-3 on clay this season and has also dropped outside of the Top 5 for the first time since 2005.
“I’ve played a couple good matches [this week], especially yesterday’s match,” said Nadal. “It’s one of the best matches I have played in a long time. So I cannot leave Madrid not happy. I have leave happy and just delete what happened today. I will just stay with the good things that happened this week, and there are a lot of them, more good than bad. I will try to recover in Rome the feelings. I think I’ve made a step forward and I’m playing better. My game is better.”
Murray and Nadal are both scheduled to compete in the Rome Masters this week.