Rafael Nadal has joined Roger Federer in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London after a 6-4, 6-1 win against Andy Murray. Stan Wawrinka's two-set triumph versus David Ferrer sealed Nadal's last-four spot.
Rafael Nadal produced one of his most dominant performances of the year to beat Andy Murray 6-4, 6-1 at the World Tour Finals in London.
The fifth-seed rediscovered his zip and strength as Murray struggled to cope with his forehand on the hard indoor courts. The Scot was edging out Nadal 4-5 in the first set before he squandered five break points and the Spaniard took the first set.
The second set was little contest with Murray losing his focus and committing a number of unforced errors. With a cross-court forehand, the 29-year-old secured the win in just over 90 minutes.
"The sport in general is simple," said Nadal. "When I hit the ball and I know the ball will go in, when I don't think about how to hit the ball, when I think just about where to hit it, that's good news.
"This year, I've been worried about how to hit the ball, not to miss, rather than hit the ball where I can damage the opponent. I have been more worried about myself than the opponents for a lot of matches. Like that it's impossible to compete at the highest level. Today I feel free. That means I'm happy."
World number three Murray, who beat Nadal in their previous meeting in Madrid, was candid about his performance as he looks to secure second place in the world rankings. "I served an extremely low percentage of first serves, maybe the lowest percentage I have served the whole year in any match," said Murray who represents Great Britain in the Davis Cup final at the end of the month.
Murray faces a winner-takes-all showdown with French Open champion Wawrinka on Friday after the Swiss ace beat David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2 later in the evening.
In their first meeting of 2015, Ferrer took an early lead with an early break to lead 3-1 in the first set. The Spaniard's double-fault was a life line to Wawrinka who leveled at 5-5 before seeing out the set and comfortably marching on to victory.
rd (AFP, RTRE)