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Tennis
Nadal and Murray meet in Japan Open final
Britain's Andy Murray has chance to win second title in a row in Japan as does Agnieszka Radwanska at China Open.
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2011 12:46
Rafael Nadal in action during his victory over Mardy Fish in the semi-finals of Japan Open [GALLO/GETTY] 

Top-seeded Rafael Nadal will take on Andy Murray in the final of the Japan Open after both recorded straight-sets victories in Saturday's semifinals.

Nadal powered past Mardy Fish in the second set to beat the American 7-5, 6-1 while Murray was a 6-2, 6-3 winner over David Ferrer.

The Nadal-Fish match was on serve until the 11th game in the opening set, when the Spaniard broke and then served out to love at Ariake Colosseum.

The first set was marked my several long rallies, but as the match progressed Nadal took control and imposed his will with a combination of crisp ground strokes and a strong serve.

Murray broke Ferrer in the third and fifth games of the first set and never looked back in advancing to his fifth final of the season. The Scot was never broken and closed out the match in 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Murray, who had the trainer retape his right foot after the third game of the first set, overpowered Ferrer with strong play from the baseline.

One of the highlights for Murray was his quick, reflexive return near the net of a powerful shot from Ferrer to go up 15-0 in the fifth game of the first set.

The fourth-ranked player in the world has won three titles this season, at Queen's Club, Cincinnati and Bangkok, and lost in the final of the Australian Open to Novak Djokovic.

Nadal holds a 13-4 advantage over Murray in 17 career meetings, including victories in the last five matches. Murray's last victory over Nadal came last year in the semifinals in Toronto.

Radwanska advances in China 

Agnieszka Radwanska is seeking her second title in two weeks after reaching the final of the China Open, where she will take on Andrea Petkovic.

In the men's draw, Marin Cilic progressed to Sunday's final with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ivan Ljubicic. Cilic will face the winner of Saturday's remaining semifinal between top-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and third-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Radwanska, the winner of last week's Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, beat Flavia Pennetta 6-2, 6-4, to improve her career record against the Italian to 3-1.

"I knew she'd been playing well the last couple of weeks so I was really focusing on my game from the beginning," Radwanska said.

         Radwanska has the chance to win her second title in two weeks [GALLO/GETTY] 

"I was just happy to close this game in two sets."

The Polish player has won her four previous meetings with Petkovic, including twice this year, but Radwanska said she wasn't expecting an easy time on Sunday.

"It's always very tough and very tight against Andrea," the 11th-seeded Radwanska said.

"She's playing very well, very consistent. I think I'll have to play even better than today to beat her tomorrow."

Earlier in the day, ninth-seeded Petkovic downed Monica Niculescu 6-2, 6-0.

Petkovic said she drew confidence from her increasingly steady performances, having reached the quarterfinals at each of this year's Australian, French and U.S. Opens.

Saturday's win marked her first victory in three meetings with the Romanian.

"I was really satisfied with the intensity and the focus I managed to have with each and every point and I think that made the difference today," the German said.

Source:
AP
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