Nadal was playing his first tournament since the US Open and looking to defend his first title on a hard court while Murray was looking for consecutive titles, having won Bangkok last week. Nadal got off to a quick start with a 4-1 lead after a poor opening service game from Murray. Rafa clung to the lead despite some off shots, using his improved serve to defend Murray’s only chance to break before taking the set 6-3.
In the second set Murray managed to control his frustration as well as he can and placed consistent pressure on Nadal, eventually breaking for a 3-1 lead. Nadal responded immediately forcing Murray to produce three brilliant serves to defend triple break point, but a backhand cross court pass from Nadal showed again how skillfully the Spaniard can ‘thread the needle’. The two players continued fighting for the fifth game before Murray finally closed it out for a 4-1 lead.
After losing the fifth game in the second set Nadal wasn’t the same and was trailing 0-4 within 15 minutes. Andy then held comfortably as Nadal’s timing completely abandoned him.
While Nadal now has 65 wins for this season, one ahead of Novak Djokovic who has pipped him at the post in six finals this season, Murray now leads him in the titles count winning four to Nadal’s three. It seems that despite the fact Nadal seems to have developed an impressive habit of finding himself in every final he has also developed a less than impressive habit of not maintaining his form in the final.