Tokyo, Oct 9: Andy Murray of Britain rallied to beat Rafael Nadal 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 and win the Japan Open on Sunday.
Murray overcame losing the first set to win his second straight ATP tour victory.
Murray, who also won last week in Bangkok, broke his Spanish opponent in the fourth game of the second set and then proceeded to win 11 of the next 12 games to clinch the title at Ariake Colosseum.
Nadal, the defending champion, had beaten Murray five straight times entering the match, and had not lost a service game in the tournament.
The title was Murray's fourth of the season after triumphs at Queen's Club, Cincinnati and in Thailand.
“There was a lot of close games in the first set and early in the second set, then I started to get the momentum and didn't give him any chances,” Murray said. “I played some great tennis, especially in the third set.”
Murray added that his performance was the best he had ever played against Nadal. The Briton's record against the Spaniard improved to 13-5.
“Rafa is one of the greatest players ever,” Murray said. “It is always a pleasure to play against him.”
The match turned for good in the fifth game of the second set. After being broken in the previous game, Nadal squandered four break points and fell behind 4-1.
Murray pressed his advantage after the break, pressuring Nadal the rest of the way.
In the final set, Murray broke Nadal three times, behind a combination of forehand winners and unforced errors by the Spaniard.
“He played unbelievable in the third set with no mistakes,” Nadal said. “His returns were impressive. After I had my chances in the second set, he started playing at a very high level.”
The victory gave fourth-ranked Murray his 20th career ATP tour title.
Nadal is now 3-7 in finals this season, with the first six of the losses coming to Novak Djokovic. AP