Murray victory dampened by Nadal knee problem (Roundup)
By Bill Scott Feb 15, 2009, 16:13 GMT
Rotterdam, Netherlands - Andy Murray won his second title of the season as he beat Rafael Nadal in back-to-back matches, taking a 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 victory on Sunday at the ABN-AMRO World Tennis.
But the title - his second from three ATP events this season - was soured by a knee injury to Nadal which limited the Spanish superman from early in the second set.
Murray and Nadal traded seven consecutive breaks of serve in the set, which Nadal won through pure determination and hard hitting to make up for a lack of mobility.
Murray swept through in the third as the injury signs began to tell for the top seed and Australian Open winner.
The win in just under two hours came five months after a semi- final victory in their series at the US Open. Murray now stand 2-5 after losing the first five meetings.
'I could see him shaking his head. But Rafa's not the kind of guy who's going to stop chasing the ball unless there's a good reason,' said Murray, 13-1 on the season. 'He said that he sometimes has a knee problem when he plays a lot on hard court.
'I'm happy with the week but not especially with the way that it ended,' said Murray, also the titleholder in January at Doha.
Nadal took treatment on his right thigh after the third game of the second set and then managed to win just two more points in serve in the set.
He has hinted that his participation in the Barclays Championships in Dubai in a week could be in doubt depending on the state of his knee.
But the modest Spaniard all but refused to speak of his physical problem, which also forced him from November's Davis Cup final.
'I came here tired from the Australian Open, but this was still a very important result for me. This was a good week for me, especially to reach this final.
'I hope to play Dubai, but you never know. We will have to wait for the moment, that's all.'
Murray appeared fully fit after complaining of an ankle problem during his semi-final win a day before. Murray, ranked fourth in the world, claimed the tenth title of his career and seventh indoors.
'Rafa's so good he almost beat me on one leg anyway,' joked Murray. 'He's still had a great start to the year, winning the Australian Open.'
Murray became the first Briton to win Rotterdam after three runner-up finishes by Tim Henman.
Nadal's loss was only his second of the season after losing to Gael Monfils in the Doha quarter-finals in early January.