Miami Masters – Men’s Final – Andy Murray v David Ferrer
It’s been a tough week of tennis for all involved in Miami. Hot and humid conditions combined with frequent winds has made for some high drama in Florida, but following several upsets and some fantastic tennis, it’ll be the world no.3 taking on the world no.4 in Sunday’s final.
The draw looked tough for Murray at the start of this event and having looked lacklustre at time in Indian Wells, I wasn’t expecting him to make any huge impressions here this week.
In truth, Murray hasn’t over-impressed at any point this week and despite only losing one set on route to the final, the Scot will know that he has been a good distance from his best all week long.
After defeating the likes of Cilic, Tomic and Dimitrov, the toughest battle of the week for Murray came in his semi-final match with Frenchman, Richard Gasquet. Murray seemingly had the first set on his racquet as he served at 5-4 but somehow managed to drop it in a tie-break, but he took control in the second and managed to win 12 of the remaining 15 games to book himself a place in Sunday’s final.
With the absence of Federer here, Murray has known all week that a Championship victory here in Miami would lift him to no.2 in the world. That will add some extra pressure on the 25-year-old for Sunday.
Having won his first ever Masters event in Paris at the end of last season, David Ferrer will be thrilled to have made it back to another final within the space of just a few months.
A Spaniard has never won this event but Ferrer has been showing the kind of determination and fight that’s going to be required, all week long.
In the last eight, Ferrer came up against an in-form Jurgen Melzer and lost the first set before coming back to record a fantastic victory. In the semi, Ferrer took on the man of the tournament, 34-year-old Tommy Haas. This time he lost the first set and twice went a break down in the decider – but again the Spaniard never gave up and was ultimately full deserving of his place in Sunday’s final.
David Ferrer won out the last time these two met on a hard court, in London at the end of 2011, but it was Murray who won their most recent meeting, at Wimbledon last June and it’s Murray who leads the head-to-head, 6-5.
The most important statistic to look at in the pair’s head-to-head stats is their records on hard courts and despite Ferrer winning at the O2 last time they met on this surface, Andy Murray has actually won five of their six meetings on hard surfaces, so it’s no surprise to see him coming into Sunday’s final as the big favourite with the bookies.
Andy Murray has not looked entirely comfortable all week and my feeling is that should he come up against someone who won’t give him easy points and will keep him working for absolutely everything, he may just run into problems.
For me, David Ferrer is a man who won’t give Murray anything for free and he’ll keep going relentlessly right to the end.
If Murray is at his best, he’ll win this one but going on how he’s played so far this week, I’m very tempted to take the attractive odds on offer for David Ferrer to win his second Masters title on Sunday afternoon for my Sports Picks.
Take the value betting odds on Ferrer hope the Spaniard can out battle the world no.3.