x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Murray eases into Queen's final

The world No 3 faces either Andy Roddick or James Blake in the final as he bids to be the first Briton to win the tournament in over 70 years.

Andy Murray was in fine form at Queen's Club where he defeated the Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2 6-4.
Andy Murray was in fine form at Queen's Club where he defeated the Spaniard Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2 6-4.

Andy Murray reached the final of AEGON Championships for the first time in his career after a one-sided victory over Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero at Queen's Club. It took Murray, bidding to become the first British winner of the tournament since Bunny Austin's triumph in 1938, just 71 minutes to see off Ferrero 6-2 6-4. Murray now faces either Andy Roddick or James Blake in the final tomorrow. The Scot was quickly into his stride against Ferrero and broke the Spaniard's serve in the opening game of the first set. It was the perfect start for Murray who quickly increased the lead by holding his serve comfortably in the second game. Ferrero, ranked 90th in the world, struggled to cope with Murray's returns but just managed to hold serve when the tournament top seed found the net.

But Murray made it 3-1 with a superb drop shot and the Scot broke Ferrero's serve again in the fifth game. It was a one-sided semi-final with Murray's class all too evident. The Briton easily held his serve once more to make it 5-1 in just 21 minutes of play on the centre court. Ferrero managed to reduce the arrears to 5-2 with some fine cross-court volleys but it was only a temporary respite. Although Murray double-faulted for the first time in the game, he soon made it 15-all and an over-hit return gave the Scot the chance to win the first set 6-2. Ferrero looked certain to lose the opening game of the second set on his serve but fought back from love-40 to lead 1-0. It was the first sign of the form that had catapulted the Spaniard into the semi-finals.

It was Murray's turn to wobble and a stunning rally ended with Ferrero making it love-30 thanks to a wonderfully executed backhand drive. But Murray was soon in front with two successive aces of 132mph and 134mph. It was vintage stuff from the world No 3 who went on to make it 1-1. But the Scot missed an opportunity to break Ferrero's serve in the third game and struggled to make it 2-2 as the Spaniard finally woke up. Ferrero played his best tennis of the semi-final at this point and Murray found it difficult to break the Spaniard's serve. But the breakthrough for Murray finally arrived in the seventh game when Ferrero's over-hit return gave the Scot a break of serve and a 4-3 lead.

The match moved towards its inevitable conclusion when Murray's dominance put him 5-3 ahead. Ferrero kept himself in with a chance of saving the set when he held serve to make it 5-4 but Murray finished him off in the next game to take the match 6-2 6-4. *PA Sport