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MUTUA MADRID OPEN

Andy Murray downs Rafa Nadal to reach Madrid Masters final

Defending champion Murray knocked out Nadal for the second year in a row in the Spanish capital, winning in straight sets.

Andy Murray downs Rafa Nadal to reach Madrid Masters final
Clive Brunskill Getty Images

Defending champion Andy Murray registered just his second ever win over Rafael Nadal on clay to reach the Madrid Masters final 7-5, 6-4 on Saturday.

Murray also beat Nadal on home soil to win his first ever Masters event on clay in Madrid last year.

The Scot will face world number one Novak Djokovic or Japan's Kei Nishikori in Sunday's final.

Defeat brings to an end Nadal's 13-match winning run on the European clay circuit this season after looking back to his best on his favoured surface with victories in Monte Carlo and Barcelona in recent weeks.

Nadal had come from a set down to beat Murray in the semi-finals of Monte Carlo and was forced to try to do the same again as the Scot edged a tight first set.

The world number two surrendered a 5-2 lead, but responded perfectly by breaking the Nadal serve to love with a searing forehand return winner to take the set 7-5.

The second set was a tale of break points as Murray saved eight of the nine he faced and pounced on his two opportunities to leave the home crowd silenced.

Nadal missed out on three break points in the opening game of the set and two more as Murray held to lead 3-2.

Murray then moved to within a game of victory as he broke with his first chance of the second set. However, Nadal battled back from match point down as Murray fired a forehand long to finally break the Scot's serve on his ninth break point of the set.

The Spaniard couldn't back up the break, though, as he dumped a smash into the net to bring up two more match points and then also found the net with a regulation forehand to hand Murray victory in just over two hours on court.