Rafael Nadal vs Andy Murray 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Semi-Final Preview
With world No.1 Novak Djokovic likely to make it to the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Finals, two old rivals will meet for a chance to challenge him on Sunday, as world No.2 Rafael Nadal of Spain faces fourth seeded Scot, Andy Murray. This semi-final match is scheduled to get underway this afternoon at 3 PM ET live on ESPN-2.
Although Murray is coming off a long physical battle against Janko Tipsarevic (4-6, 6-3, 6-4), the 2-time Grand Slam finalist isn’t shying away from doing a little bit of trash-talking. Trailing Nadal 6-5 on their previous hardcourt meetings, Murray took at a shot at the Spaniard, claiming his game was beatable on this surface.
“I think hard courts are the best surfaces to play him on,” said the 24-year-old Scot. “It will be challenging but on this surface, I feel I can use my game to make him doubt himself a little bit.”
Rafa is also coming off a hard-played quarterfinal match, as he defeated a very unhappy Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4. After the match, it wasn’t the winner the one dominating the headlines, but rather the Frenchman. Accusing chair umpire Damian Steiner for giving the 10-time Grand Slam champion favorable treatment. Tsonga sounded off.
“It’s not fair. If it’s really close, he would never say ‘out’ against Rafa,” Tsonga claimed. “If Rafa doesn’t like him anymore, he would not be in the chair many times in a final and semifinal.”
Nadal, who’s not known as a trash-talker or a confrontational person off the court, has brushed off all the recent talks made by Murray and Tsonga. Being very empathetic about the Frenchman’s dilemma, the 25-year-old Majorcan agreed with his quarterfinal’s opponent to a certain extent.
“I understand sometimes the frustration on this situation,” Nadal said. “It’s a general thing with the referees today that with the Hawk-Eye. I believe that they feel that they have less pressure than before. Probably knowing that you have the challenge, they don’t take the risk to have to overrule. He’s right in one thing; he’s wrong in another thing.”
As far as the comments Murray made about his game, Rafa also took the high road and decided to let his game do the talking on the court. Nadal is still searching for his first Miami Masters title, where he has made it to the finals three times in the past.
If Nadal plans for this to be the year he will capture his first title in Key Biscayne, he will have to get past a very confident Murray and likely take on the Joker in the finals.
“Playing Andy is a pleasure,” Nadal said. “It’s exciting playing against a player like him who pushes you to the limit on everything.”