Resurgent Nadal eases to victory over Murray

Updated: 

A reinvigorated Rafael Nadal moved to the brink of the ATP World Tour Finals semi-finals by beating Andy Murray in straight sets at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday.

Nadal has looked a shadow of his former self this year, but the Spaniard's confidence has steadily returned at the back end of 2015 and he appears to be getting back to his best on the evidence of his emphatic 6-4 6-1 victory over Murray.

The 14-time grand-slam champion dominated second seed Murray to make it two wins out of two in Group Ilie Nastase and will be through to the last four if David Ferrer fails to beat Stan Wawrinka in straights sets later on Wednesday.

Murray is still in contention for a semi-final spot after beating Ferrer in his opening game, with his final round-robin game to come against Wawrinka as he attempts to finish the year as world number two for the first time. 

It all started so well for Murray, who broke in the first game with an overhead backhand volley at the net, but Nadal hit straight back to level and then put Murray under severe pressure, unleashing thunderous forehands in particular with great effect to put the home favourite on the back foot.

Murray showed his character by saving five break points, but was up against it at 0-40 when 5-4 down and found himself a set down when he scurried after a Nadal backhand volley he had no chance of returning. 

Former world number one Nadal then raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set as Murray grew increasingly infuriated, twice double-faulting to go a break down, and the Spaniard was in no mood to let his advantage slip.

An out-of-sorts Murray netted a forehand to go a double-break down at 5-1 and Nadal fittingly rounded off a brilliant performance with a cross-court forehand that wrong-footed the British number one.

 

STATISTICAL BREAKDOWN
Nadal [5] bt Murray [2] 6-4 6-1 

ACES 
Murray - 2
Nadal - 1

BREAK POINTS WON 
Murray 1/1
Nadal 4/9

FIRST SERVE PERCENTAGE 
Murray - 43
Nadal - 51

PERCENTAGE OF POINTS WON ON FIRST/SECOND SERVE 
Murray 64/34
Nadal 67/62

TOTAL POINTS 
Murray - 43
Nadal - 61