By Ros Satar
Andy Murray  def. David Ferrer  2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1)
There was a lot at stake for both players to move up the rankings (Murray to No. 2, Ferrer to No. 4, and to be the first Spaniard to win the title).
Ferrer certainly started the more aggressive of the two, racing ahead to a 4-0 lead against a mis-firing Murray.
Murray got himself onto the board for 1-5 and as Ferrer came up to serve for the first set, Murray finally got some purchase on his break points.
Ferrer responded by breaking Murray’s next service game to take the first set 6-2.
Murray started the second set slightly better, converting a break point eventually, to take the advantage of a Ferrer unforced error before the first change of ends.
The errors continued to flow from Ferrer as Murray started to impose a little more, as the pace of the match slowed.
Murray again failed to put away any number of chances to edge ahead a further break, but kept the advantage.
Murray, now getting nettled by umpire Cedric Murier warning him about coming close to the 25 second time limit between games delivered another sloppy game to hand Ferrer the break back.
Murray did at least recover the break straight away, coming out to serve for the second set, this time choosing not to wind himself up again by chuntering to the umpire.
Murray held to take the match into a decider, 6-4.
It took six consecutive breaks of serve before Ferrer finally held a game, while meanwhile a fight broke out in the watching crowd!
Because really, someone needs to be aggressive. RT @trudelsteph: There is a fight that has broken out in the crowd
— Mark (@silverslam) March 31, 2013
Murray, looking quite tired, hung on to his own serve, and more crucially, scrambled a break to edge ahead 5-4, breathing hard and obviously having to dig deep.
The agony was not over for Murray or fans of either player alike, as Ferrer broke back again, consolidating with a hold.
Murray was looking decidedly the more winded of the two, as he came out to serve to stay in the match.
Miraculously Murray saved a match point, as Ferrer challenged (incorrectly), dragging the set to a final tie-breaker.
Ferrer was beginning to look as though he was suffering from cramp, as he continued to push errors, giving Murray the edge.
A lucky net-cord gave Murray the first mini-break and with the exception of one point for Ferrer won back on Murray’s serve, the British no. 1 cruised though the tiebreak to seal it 7-6(1).
Both of these players are extremely fit, and both ground themselves to a standstill, in a game dominated with errors, as a symptom of the slower courts and humidity.
Ferrer no doubt regretted stopping on that match-point as he thanked the crowd for their support.
Ferrer: “Well, now I am tired.”
— Romi Cvitkovic (@RomiCvitkovic) March 31, 2013
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. One point.” Ferrer addressing the fans. Tough luck for the guy.
— Beyond The Baseline (@SI_BTBaseline) March 31, 2013
There is a lot for Murray to work on, ahead of the lead up to the French Open, acknowledging that he had started poorly, and needs to serve better, in his post-match interview with Sky.
Andy Murray becomes world #2 whilst throwing down 45 UFEs. #SonyOpenTennis
— Tom Nash (@GameSetNash) March 31, 2013
Next up for Murray is the start of his clay court campaign, with the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte Carlo.