TORONTO: Scotsman Andy Murray showed steely nerve to shatter a career-finals jinx against Roger Federer, defeating the Swiss 7-5, 7-5 to defend his title at the ATP Toronto Masters.
The final began late as rain fell as the pair walked out onto the court and the event turned into an ordeal lasting just over two hours on court but plagued by a cumulative two hours of interruptions.
Murray won the first set, with the pair three complete games into the second when the first major rain delay occurred. After nearly an hour, they came back out, Murray breaking in the fifth game and finally going through for the win on a second match point of the set.
The Scot, who lost to Federer during prior trophy bids in 2005 at Bangkok, the 2008 US Open and last January’s Australian Open final, is the first since Andre Agassi in 1995 to win back-to-back ATP Toronto titles and only the fifth player to beat both Federer and Nadal in the same event.
Clijsters rallies to beat Sharapova
Belgian fourth-seed Kim Clijsters saved three match points just before a 74-minute rain break and rallied to beat Russia’s Maria Sharapova 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 in the WTA Cincinnati Open final.
Sharapova, squandered three match-point chances with Clijsters serving at 3-5 in the second set just before rain stopped the match, adding to the tension and drama of the moment.
However, Clijsters held serve once play resumed and quickly grabbed two break points on Sharapova’s serve. The Russian saved both but Clijsters forced a third and Sharapova then issued her fifth double fault, falling level at 5-5.
Her ninth double fault handed Clijsters a break for a 2-1 lead in the third and the Belgian broke again in the fifth game on the way to a 5-1 lead.
Sharapova held serve, then denied Clijsters on two match points before Clijsters withstood a break point and finally closed out matters on her third match point after two hours and 30 minutes
The victory gave Clijsters her 38th career singles title, having already taken crowns in 2010 at Brisbane and Miami.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2010.
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