20
Aug
11

A tired Andy Murray will meet a fresh Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Cinci final.

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Andy Murray booked his place in the final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati for the second time in his career thanks to a gritty win over Mardy Fish, but the British number one did raise concerns over his fitness ahead of the US Open. With Flushing Meadows just over a week away, the Scot often reached for the back of his left leg during a gruelling 6-3 7-6 (10/8) win over the American, in a match that was littered with errors and missed chances from both players.

Murray will now play Novak Djokovic who spent just 35 minutes on court as Tomas Berdych retired after losing the first set 7-5.

“I was struggling physically in the second set, it was hot but that’s not an excuse,” Murray told Sky Sports. “My legs were feeling tired. It (any pain) was the conditions. I need to get stronger. This is the first tough match I’ve played for five or six weeks. I need to get some more endurance in me before the US Open.” Having found his form late on during Friday’s win over Gilles Simon, Murray was eager to carry it into the early stages of Saturday’s clash and he served out the first game with ease, starting with an ace. Serve held through to the fourth game when Murray broke at the fifth time of asking. Some impressive ground strokes saw him run Fish off his feet, with the home favourite cutting his knee as he fell to the floor to try and retrieve a short-range forehand. But it was not until his fifth break point that he was able to move 3-1 ahead, Fish doing his job for him, hitting long and losing serve for the first time this week. The Scot saved a break point to cement his lead at 4-1, before squandering two more chances to win against the serve in the sixth game. He got through to 5-3 on his serve and did well to save a break point after squandering a chance to take the set, before taking the opener 6-3. His serving statistics were impressive, winning 76% of the points on his first and just over half those on his second, while he impressed against Fish’s serve at the start of the second. Again he needed more than one chance to win against the feed, taking the third chance he had, only for Fish to break straight back. Serve held out to the fifth game, with Murray holding to love impressively in the fourth and, when Fish hit hard and wide trying to save two break points, Murray was 3-2 ahead. That signalled the start of a manic period, during which Fish broke, Murray broke and then Fish broke again, with Murray’s second-serve percentages down to 25. The duo finally got their serve back on track heading in to a tie-break, although Murray could have changed all that had he taken any of the five break points that came his way during the 11th game of the set. He also staved off two set points in the 12th game, before taking a gripping tie-break, which featured three match points and two set points.

 

 

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