Nadal ends match early
Associated Press
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MELBOURNE, Australia --- Andy Murray had been warned about the fireworks, the crackle and dazzling burst of color that lights the sky to mark Australia Day celebrations.

So the pyrotechnics came as no surprise in the second set against defending champion Rafael Nadal. What he didn't expect was the fizzle at the end.

Nadal quit their quarterfinal while trailing 6-3, 7-6 (2), 3-0 Tuesday night, not long after he'd taken a medical timeout to treat his right knee. His concession came five games and a tiebreaker after he tripped and fell following the fireworks delay at Rod Laver Arena.

Andy Roddick also needed a medical timeout -- after the first set of his earlier match against No. 14 Marin Cilic. His sore right shoulder was making his fingers numb.

Roddick played on for another four sets. But, like Nadal, he was gone in the quarterfinals. Cilic advanced 7-6 (4), 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 and will meet Murray in the semifinals.

Murray was convinced he would have beaten Nadal even if the match had gone the distance. He's also confident of overturning his last result against Cilic -- a loss at the U.S. Open -- and reaching his second Grand Slam final.

"When the big moments came in the match, I thought I dictated what happened," Murray said. "From my side, I played really well and deserved to be up when the match was stopped."

Nadal tweaked his knee in the 11th game of a second set that had already been interrupted for nine minutes by fireworks. Both players had been told in advance about the break, although both took time to readjust to match conditions.

Nadal's fall six games later sent a murmur around the stadium, but he eased concern by playing a shot by instinct as he sat near the baseline. Murray won that point, but Nadal held serve in the game and celebrated with a flurry of wild, double-arm pumps as if he'd won a final.

He didn't show any outward signs of being hurt until calling for a medical timeout while serving at 0-1 and 15-all in the third set. He took a three-minute break while the trainer worked on his right knee.

He played only 13 more points before walking to the net and shaking Murray's hand.

From the Wednesday, January 27, 2010 edition of the Augusta Chronicle


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