By Amy Fetherolf
(March 31, 2013) MIAMI — World No. 3 Andy Murray came out on top in a match more full of twists and turns than a mystery novel, beating World No. 5 David Ferrer, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(1) to win his second Miami title.
The first set flew by, Murray hitting an astonishing 30 errors (16 unforced, 14 forced) to hand away three breaks of serve. Ferrer was broken while trying to serve for the set at 5-1, but he was able to immediately break to win the set.
In the second set, the roles were reversed. Ferrer was the one who hit 30 errors (19 unforced, 11 forced), and Murray began to play more solidly. The players traded breaks, and Ferrer was broken again at 4-all. It was all Murray would need to force a deciding set.
Both players struggled mightily on serve in the third set. On the way to a tiebreak, they dropped serve four times each, neither playing serving particularly well. As Ferrer led 6-5, he had a match point on Murray’s serve, but he stopped play to challenge a Murray forehand that was called in, and Hawk-Eye showed that it had landed on the line. Murray quickly snuffed out the chance, and steamrolled through the tiebreak, Ferrer cramping badly throughout.
“I think it was an exciting match,” Murray said. “I don’t think either of us played our best tennis. There was a lot of breaks and ups‑and‑downs, quite a lot of mistakes from both of us. But what I did do was fight hard, showed good mental strength to get through that match, because it easily could have slipped away from me. It was a brutal, brutal match today. Both of us were kind of on our last legs. Good it wasn’t a best‑of‑five‑set match, because I don’t know how the last few sets would have ended up.”
Ferrer didn’t want to revisit his decision to stop play on match point.
“It was a very close match, no? I had my chance in the match point. The ball, it was really close. I saw out, and, you know, really close. Anyway, but final of the set I was more tired than him, and he served to win the match. I chose my decision in that moment. It’s a bad moment now. I don’t want to think anymore about that. I want to forget, the more faster as possible.”
By winning the Miami title, Murray cemented the No. 2 ranking, displacing Roger Federer, and marking the first time since November 10, 2003 that neither Federer nor Rafael Nadal will be in the top 2. Ferrer will move up one spot to No. 4, displacing Nadal.