By Julien Pretot
PARIS (Reuters) – World number three Andy Murray reached his maiden Paris Masters final when he overpowered Spanish eighth seed David Ferrer 6-4 6-3 despite a few off lapses on Saturday.
The British second seed lost his focus at times but eventually had too much for the 2012 Bercy champion as he set up a showdown with either world number one Novak Djokovic or French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka.
“I managed to shorten a lot of the points. There was some variety in there with the way the points finished, which was pleasing for me,” Murray told a news conference.
“I dictated a lot of the points and I finished a lot of points up at the net and was able to shorten enough points to not make it too tiring.”
Murray made a dream start, breaking to love in the first game, but Ferrer was spurred into action and the Spaniard levelled for 3-3 when two Murray unforced errors gave him a break in the sixth game.
In a see-saw opening set, Ferrer set up four more break points in the eighth game but Murray saved them all and went on to steal his opponent’s serve as the Spaniard made a string of unforced errors.
The Scot finished a superb exchange at the net with a fine sliced lob to set up two set points and on the first one Ferrer netted a routine backhand.
In typically tenacious fashion Ferrer got straight back down to business and raced to a 3-1 lead in the second set.
But double grand slam champion Murray found his range again, producing some improbable angles as he won five games in a row, wrapping up the victory on his first match point when Ferrer netted an attempted drop shot.
Murray will be guaranteed finishing the year second in the ATP rankings for the first time if he wins the title.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ken Ferris and Martyn Herman)