Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Nadal clinches semifinal berth in ATP Finals

Rafael Nadal practices at Indian Wells in March.
Photo by Paul Bauman
   Rafael Nadal has clinched a berth in the semifinals of the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
   Nadal, the No. 5 seed, defeated No. 2 Andy Murray 6-4, 6-1 today in round-robin play and advanced to Saturday's semis when No. 4 Stan Wawrinka beat No. 7 David Ferrer 7-5, 6-2.
   After the third game of the first set against Nadal, Murray snipped some hair that was getting in his eyes.
   Nadal improved to 2-0 in the Ilie Nastase group, and Murray remained in contention at 1-1. Nadal leads Murray in the head-to-head series 16-6.
   They will play their final round-robin matches on Friday. Murray can earn his first year-end No. 2 ranking with a victory over Wawrinka (1-1) or one loss by Roger Federer (2-0) during the rest of the tournament.
   Both Nadal and Murray seek their first title in the ATP World Tour Finals, which consists of the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams of the year.
   Murray won the first of his 35 tour-level titles, fourth among active players and 17th since the Open era began in 1968, in San Jose at 18 years old in 2006.
In London
Round-robin singles
   Rafael Nadal (5), Spain, def. Andy Murray (2), Great Britain, 6-4, 6-1.
   Stan Wawrinka (4), Switzerland, def. David Ferrer (7), Spain, 7-5, 6-2.
(Sets record in parentheses)
   Stan Smith group -- 1. Roger Federer 2-0 (4-0), 2. Novak Djokovic 1-1 (2-2), 3. Kei Nishikori 1-1 (2-3), 4. Tomas Berdych 0-2 (1-4).
   Ilie Nastase group -- 1. Rafael Nadal 2-0 (4-0), 2. Andy Murray 1-1 (2-2), 3. Stan Wawrinka 1-1 (2-2), 4. David Ferrer 0-2 (0-4).
   Top two players in each group after three matches advance to Saturday's semifinals.
Round-robin doubles
   Jean-Julien Rojer, Netherlands, and Horia Tecau (2), Romania, def. Ivan Dodig, Croatia, and Marcelo Melo (3), Brazil, 6-4, 7-6 (3).
   Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut (6), France, def. Marcin Matkowski, Poland, and Nenad Zimonjic (7), Serbia, 5-7, 6-3 [10-8].
(Sets record in parentheses)
   Ashe/Smith group -- 1. Rohan Bopanna and Florin Mergea 2-0 (4-0), 2. Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan 1-1 (2-2). 3. Jamie Murray and John Peers 1-1 (2-3), 4. Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini 0-2 (1-4).
   Fleming/McEnroe group -- 1. Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau 2-0 (4-0), 2. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut 1-1 (3-3), 3. Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo 1-1 (2-3), 4. Marcin Matkowski and Nenad Zimonjic 0-2 (1-4).
   Top two teams in each group after three matches advance to Saturday's semifinals.

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