x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Nadal 'sad' to beat Murray for place in Wimbledon final

Defending champion recovers from a set down to defeat local hope Andy Murray in four sets. But he believes Scot will win a major one day.

Rafael Nadal, of Spain, is a 10-time grand slam champion.
Rafael Nadal, of Spain, is a 10-time grand slam champion.

Rafael Nadal admitted he felt "sad" for Andy Murray after defeating the Scot to reach the Wimbledon final.

The defending champion battled back from a set down to defeat Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court this afternoon to set up a final date with Novak Djokovic.

Nadal, who counts Murray as a close friend from their time spent together on tour, was happy to have reached the final but conceded that he felt sorry to have vanquished the hopes of Britain's No 1 on home soil again.

"I feel sad for Andy. I think he deserves to be in the final. I wish him the best for the rest of the year. This match was tough for him," the Spaniard said.

Nadal beat Murray in straight sets at the same stage in last year's tournament, but the Dunblane-born star performed much better this afternoon, clinching the first set with a confident display.

Nadal came back in style though, producing his best tennis of the tournament to move into the final.

"I think I played very well to win today," Nadal added.

"Against Andy I have to play my best to have any chance and that's what I had to do today.

"It's always hard to play against him. To beat him I have to play fantastic shots and that's what I did today."

Murray has now been in seven grand slam semi-finals without going on from one of them to pick up a title.

It was also the third time he has made the last four at SW19 without reaching the final.

Nadal thinks, however, that it is only a matter of time before the 24 year old wins a major.

"I don't think he needs anything more, he is playing well," Nadal said.

"All he needs is probably a bit more luck."

Nadal will now face Djokovic, a man who has already beaten him four times this year.

For that reason, the Majorcan is expecting a hard final against a man who began the year with a 41-match unbeaten run.

"It's always a tough match against Novak," Nadal said.

"It's really difficult. He has played fantastic all season. He has only lost one in the whole season and I have already lost four times against him so it will be really difficult but I will try my best as always."