Murray tops Berdych to advance to Miami final

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Miami, April 4 (IANS/EFE) Britain’s Andy Murray advanced to his fourth Miami Masters final with a comfortable 6-4, 6-4 victory on Friday afternoon over Czech Tomas Berdych.

With the win, the No. 4 seed moved within one win of his third championship at this elite hard-court event, which he captured in 2009 and 2013, and his first title of 2015.

Murray, who used his counter-punching skill and outstanding court coverage to neutralise the Czech’s flat power from the baseline, improved his overall record against Berdych to 6-6.

The Scotsman put 70 percent of his first serves in play and won 80 percent of his first-serve points, while the eighth-seeded Czech made just 57 percent of his first deliveries and won only 59 percent of those points.

The match began in sloppy fashion with three straight service breaks, with Berdych losing his serve twice, but it later settled down as Murray wrapped up the set with four consecutive routine service holds.

The second set was a virtual carbon copy of the first, with the Scotsman taking a 2-1 lead after breaking serve twice and dropping his own once.

Murray got into some trouble in his final service game, but he rallied from a 0-30 deficit and then sealed the victory with an inside-out forehand winner.

“I felt like I served well. It was tricky from one end of the court. We were basically serving right into the sun at that time of day,” the two-time Grand Slam champion was quoted as saying on the ATP World Tour’s website after his victory.

“But I thought when I was behind in games, like the last game for example, I came up with some big serves and was able to dictate a lot of the rallies from the baseline as well. I was moving him around a lot. That was good.”

The Brit is off to a strong start in 2015, including reaching the final of the Australian Open and the semi-finals of Indian Wells.

He will next take on either Serbian No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic, who defeated the Scotsman in both of those hard-court tournaments, or big-serving American John Isner.

Murray topped Isner earlier this year in Davis Cup first-round singles action.


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