By Ros Satar in Cincinnati

  • Andy Murray [1] def. Milos Raonic [4] 6-3 6-3
  • Rain delays second semi-final between Marin Cilic & Grigor Dimitrov
CINCINNATI, USA – Andy Murray has a chance to win a third Cincinnati Masters title, after booking his place in the final with a 6-3 6-3 straight sets win over Milos Raonic.

 

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The rain returned to the courts of the Western & Southern Open after some super human efforts to get the tournament back on track. In a day still beset by frequent rain showers, Murray got over the finish line just before the heaven’s opened again.

The match was actually bookended by rain, with the slippery lines an area of concern. Raonic was broken to start, and although he tried to retaliate against Murray a couple of times, he could not find his breakthrough, as Murray broke him to take the first set.

The second set certainly felt a lot more competitive, with neither being able to get close to each others serves, before Murray capitalised on the first break point of the set.

However serving it out proved to be a challenge – the rain had started to fall again and a mis-timed hoof of the ball almost cost Murray a default as the ball whizzed past umpire Damien Dumusois’ ear.

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There will be decided relief that he got over the finish line before the rains came again.

Raonic is now on a five match losing streak against Murray in this season alone, and a seven-match dry spell dating back to the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in 2014.

He assessed his performance after the match: “I got to obviously serve much better than I did today. Today I also did a better job of creating opportunities on his serve that I didn’t make count. I had three break chances and three second serves; I put the ball in once on second serves.

“That is not a formula of success by any means. It’s going to come down to a few important points, playing them better, and obviously executing better than I did on my end of things when it comes to my service games than I did today.”

At the time of writing, Murray’s potential final opponents were just preparing to walk back on court at around 11:10pm – with the first game to Cilic, and 40/30 on Dimitrov’s serve.

Murray said, after his match: “I’m not going to be fresher than Marin or Grigor. I played a lot of tennis the last few weeks. Obviously if I had been the second match that would’ve been even tougher. But this week has been hard for me coming from Rio. Playing during the day tomorrow will be my first match during the day.

“Any of the players will tell you how different the conditions are in the day to the night. That’s something I’ll need to adjust to tomorrow as well. I’m glad I don’t have to wait round until 11:00 to get on the court.”

Cilic’s last win over Murray was in that period where he was still adjusting to getting back to the tour after back surgery at the end of 2013. Murray got his revenge later in 2014 for the Rotterdam defeat in Beijing and on grass this year at Queen’s, with an overall head to head of 11-3 in Murray’s favour.

However, Dimitrov tripped Murray up in Miami this year, snapping a three-match losing streak dating back to that Wimbledon quarter-final in 2014 – their head to head is 6-3 to Murray.

Both are foes he would be comfortable in beating and indeed although he is fatigued from Rio, and the adjustment to the surfaces, Murray has yet to drop a set.

He should have enough in the tank to defeat either.

The men’s final is scheduled not before 4pm (9pm BST).

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