Magic Murray finds top form

Andy Murray has picked the perfect time of year to find his form after a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ivo Karlovic in Cincinnati.

Andy Murray returns a serve against Ivo Karlovic during his semi-final victory in Cincinnati.
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CINCINNATI // Andy Murray has picked the perfect time of year to find his form. The Scotsman has been majestic of late and maintained arguably the best run of his career with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Ivo Karlovic in Cincinnati on Saturday night to reach his first Masters Series final. Murray, 21, reached his first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon last month, then won his way through to the semi-finals in Toronto last week. And following his fine form this week he looks well placed to challenge for a medal at the Olympics in Beijing and also impress at the US Open.

He will also today move up to his highest career ranking of six, a rise of three places after his run in Cincinnati. This should guarantee him a top eight seeding at the US Open which begins at the end of this month. Of his improved performances, he said: "I think my results showed that it took a little bit of time but that it's paying off, and I'm enjoying myself much more on court. I'm much calmer and obviously my results have got better and better as the year's gone on."

He started slowly against his Croatian opponent Karlovic, losing his first service game, before he rallied to take the set 6-4. And it was the same story in the second set as his strong return of serve saw him prove too strong. Murray's opponent in the final, which was played late last night, was Novak Djokovic, who ended Rafael Nadal's 32-match winning streak with a 6-1, 7-5 success. Djokovic said: "No one is unbeatable but the way he was playing we all thought he's not going to lose any time soon."

Nadal will have to wait until Aug 18 to depose Federer as the world No 1. * Reuters