Nadal, Zvonareva claim titles in blustery Indian Wells
Indian Wells (California), March 23 (DPA) Rafael Nadal took revenge for two consecutive losses to Andy Murray as he crushed the Briton 6-1, 6-2 in a wind-blown challenge to win his second title at the Indian Wells Masters in three years.
The top seeded Spaniard, 2007 champion at the Tennis Garden, was ruthless in victory, which followed an equally challenging win by Vera Zvonareva, who dethroned holder Ana Ivanovic 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 in the women's final Sunday.
Nadal now owns two major titles this season after winning his first Australian Open less than two months ago. At 77 minutes, the men's final required just four minutes more than the lengthy women's first set.
'I had a good strategy and I played a really good match in these conditions,' said Nadal. 'Probably Andy didn't play his best because of the conditions.
'I played a really complete match, moving very well. I never stopped (moving) the legs during all the match, and I think that was the key today.'
Five-time Roland Garros winner Nadal lifted his 33rd career title and 13th at the Masters level.
'Maybe I had a little bit more positive attitude than him during the match. Andy was the only top player I had not beaten this year. This is an important win for me.
'The most important thing for me is win the title.'
Murray's loss was only his second this season against 20 victories, with Scot already holding titles at Doha and Rotterdam.
'I don't feel like I'm that disappointed just now with how the week went, because I wasn't expecting to do that well,' said Murray, who was ill the week before the event after pulling out of Dubai.
'I obviously had some very good wins and I got a lot of the matches that I wasn't necessarily expecting. So going into Miami (from next Wednesday) I'm going to be better prepared than I thought.'
Murray was the first British player to reach the Indian Wells final since Tim Henman in 2004.
'Rafa deserved to win,' said Murray. 'It was incredibly tough conditions and he dealt with them well. I couldn't get the job done today but I've had a great start this year and hopefully I can keep it going.'
Nadal never faced a break point while breaking Murray four times a day after the fourth seed beat Roger Federer for a fourth straight time.
Nadal now leads the series 6-2 over Murray and heads to Miami starting next week standing 21-2.
The women's final featured a total of 19 break points in the unpredictable conditions, with only one ace served in the two-hour battle.
'After a couple of games I knew that the conditions are very difficult and it's not going to probably change today,' said Zvonareva. 'I had to fight for every point, I have to adjust my game.
'I think I did pretty well. Even though I had some mistakes and some frustrating points with the wind, I was still trying to put as many balls as I can in the court.'
The weather-influenced victory marked the second trophy of the season for Zvonareva after winning Pattaya City following the Australian Open.
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