Rome: World No. 1 Rafael Nadal endured some nervous moments in his third-round match against No. 14-seeded Mikhail Youzhny Thursday at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but Rafa ultimately survived 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-1 in a three-set thriller.Not only does the hard-fought victory place Nadal in the Rome Masters quarterfinals, but it also sets up a clash with Andy Murray for the first time since 2011.
Meanwhile, Andy Murray, the birthday boy, celebrated turning 27 with a 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 win over Jurgen Melzer. By the virtue of this win, he extended his perfect record against his Austrian opponent to 6-0 but didn’t have it all his own way against the man from Vienna, particularly in a tight opening set.
“I’d obviously love to play against him (Nadal) – it would be a great match for me with the French Open just around the corner because obviously I’ll see exactly where my game is at.” He said.Murray was broken in the very first game and trailed 3-1 after Melzer – who had knocked out Marin Cilic in the last round – held serve by flashing down his first ace of the contest.
However, he could do nothing to stop the seventh seed getting back on terms next time around, Murray breaking back after the opportunity had come about following a forehand winner. —Agencies