Rafael Nadal took another big step towards tennis glory in early 2009. Rafa captured his first Australian Open title after epic victories over Fernando Verdasco and Roger Federer in ten sets and nine and a half hours! After taking a week off, the world number 1 returned to action in Rotterdam and was hoping for a better run than a year ago.
Nadal made it to the title clash, in which Andy Murray dumped him for the title. Winner of a single indoor hard court title at Madrid 2005, Rafa survived tough challenges against Simone Bolelli, Grigor Dimitrov and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
He spent eight and a half hours on the track and lost energy and stamina. The Spaniard defeated Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4 in his first indoor ATP final since Paris 2007 and set up the title clash against Andy Murray. The Briton scored a 6-3, 4-6, 6-0 victory in one hour and 51 minutes to lift the trophy.
In this way, Nadal lived his ninth zero on the ATP Tour of his career, the first in two years. Rafa claimed the second set, but had nothing left in his tank in the decider. He was helpless against an opponent who claimed his tenth ATP title.
Murray suffered four service breaks and made 7 of 12 chances to win. Andy had more winners and fewer unforced errors. He outplayed Rafa in the shorter rallies of up to four shots and kept pace with his opponent in the longer ones to cross the finish line first.
Nadal squandered a break chance at 1-1 in the first set after a loose backhand and struck another at 2-3 to experience a break and fall behind. The Briton held the lead with a T-line ace as he served for the set at 5-3 and built momentum heading into the second set.
Rafa received treatment on his right knee after the third game and got a break in the next when Andy missed a backhand.
Murray is a former World No.1
Top-ranked British tennis star Cameron Norrie has named tennis legends Andre Agassi and Andy Murray as his idos in the sport.
“My idol was Andre Agassi. I read his book and he respected him a lot,” Cameron Norrie said in a press conference after reaching the Argentina Open final. “When I moved to London I started training with Andy and I got to know him deeply and I admire him a lot. He is my great idol. I learned many things from him,” the 27-year-old conveyed.