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Week 16 (PTA): Monte-Carlo [Oxenstierna]

SirBloody Idiot

Cricketer Of The Year
Oxenstierna, Murdoch meet in Monte-Carlo finale

World No. 4 Sven Oxenstierna will meet World No. 12 Dwayne Murdoch in a fitting best-of-five set conclusion to the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tomorrow afternoon Monaco time. In their third meeting (the previous two both on clay), both will be looking for a big win to commence their preparation for the French Open. Interestingly, it was at Roland Garros where they first met - last season Oxenstierna ended Murdoch's great run in the semi finals over four sets. Now Murdoch returns for just his second clay final (after losing to Hall in Hamburg), and despite knocking off the previously undefeated clay maestro Daniel Páez Blanco is not the favourite with the bookies.

Oxenstierna has been immense this week and has yet to drop a set. The French Open finalist tamed arguably the third best player in the draw 6-3, 7-5 in his semi final and will be understandably confident having claimed the title in Indian Wells. Murdoch meanwhile also sees the importance of tomorrow's final - he had a poor run with injury during the clay Masters series last year and suffered a string of early exits before finally showing his capabilities at Roland Garros. For instance, a win in tomorrow's final will see him leap to World No. 7 and he only has a combined 80 points to defend in Rome and Madrid.

As for the tennis, as the court has dried out this week at his suited Murdoch more and more. Oxenstierna's results haven't been quite as impressive as they were on the damper courts, but that can be put down to an increase in competition. Despite what the bookies say, Murdoch has looked irresistable to me and Oxenstierna has struggled with super-aggressive players who hit the ball deep. I'm expecting Murdoch to extract a bit of revenge for Roland Garros over five sets.


SirBloody Idiot

Cricketer Of The Year
Murdoch in Season II

Oxenstierna in Season II

Now that I have access to these stats, I think I'll post them. :p Murdoch has had a largely **** year so far, but he seems to pull these types of weeks out of his arse regularly.

SirBloody Idiot

Cricketer Of The Year

Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters II
PTA Masters 1000 - Sunday (Final) - Monte Carlo, Monaco - Clay (Red)

Second seed Sven Oxenstierna has beaten American rival Dwayne Murdoch in a tight three-set affair to claim his second Masters title of the year in Monaco. While the match wasn't the five-set encounter many were hoping for, the World No. 4 was thoroughly tested by the World No. 12 as he claimed victory just inside three hours.

In a spirited opening set, it was the American who did most of the running early with his groundstrokes off both wings troubling Oxenstierna enough to take a 4-1 lead. But serving second, Oxenstierna managed to avoid a crushing first set defeat by stringing five games together with some fantastic defensive tennis as he claimed the first set six games to four.

But after dropping the first set from a winnable position, Murdoch wasn't about to drop away that quickly and in his second PTA Masters 1000 final stuck close to the West CWLander. In a drawn out set that went to a tiebreaker, Oxenstierna was pushed to the limit before producing some great defence to draw key unforced errors from the American No. 3 to secure the breaker 7-4.

On the cusp of claiming his third PTA title, Oxenstierna moved early as he looked to shut Murdoch out completely. However after breaking serve early, Sven the Ox was drawn back by the American who broke back to level the scores at 3-3. But he couldn't keep the consistent serving of the second set up as Oxenstierna broke late to secure the title 6-4, 7-6(4), 7-5 without dropping a set all week.

  • Seeded players out:
    Dwayne Murdoch.