Rafael Nadal beat Andy Murray 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (6) in what he called an “incredible” semifinal. I felt for Murray, in the end – watching him rally to take Rafa to a third set tiebreak and thinking of all the times glory has just slipped through his fingers. I guess those Tim Henman comparisons aren’t outdated yet.
A moment for Murray:
“It was one of those matches where you kind of knew—so many long rallies, so many good points—I kind of knew when I was out there that it was a great match,” Murray said. “It’s nice in some ways to be involved in matches like that. But it’s not nice losing them.” (via Tennis.com)
But as much as the hometown hero tugged at my heartstrings, I’m just a little bit (“SQUEEEEEEEEE!”) more excited thinking about tomorrow’s WTF Final.
Roger Federer’s reaction, after his 6-1 (!), 6-4 dismissal of semifinalist Novak Djokovic:
“Obviously I’m really looking forward to playing against Rafa tomorrow,” Federer said. “Who wouldn’t?” (via Tennis.com)
It’s impossible for me to call a winner with any confidence – Rafa’s the No. 1 in the World right now for more than just his game – he’s also the most mentally resilient at the moment, weathering two three-set storms this week so far. And he holds that famous 14-7 head-to-head advantage over Roger, though Roger holds a 5-4 advantage on surfaces other than clay. And the O2 surface seems to agree very well with the man in red, who’s played the most remarkable tennis in London, with straight sets victories over everyone who’s crossed his path.
Head-to-head post-match interviews:
I’m just hoping for a fantastic match, worthy of the players, the occasion and the hype. . . As is ESPN2 – the network will be broadcasting the WTF Finals LIVE on Sunday, starting at 12:30 pm, eastern. (Thanks Lorrie, for the heads up!)