|Andy Murray of Britain kisses his trophy after winning against Rafael Nadal of Spain after their final match at the Japan Open tennis championships in Tokyo October 9, 2011. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
Tokyo, Japan - Andy Murray stormed back to upend Rafael Nadal in the title match at the Japan Open Tennis Championships on Sunday.
Murray dropped the first set but dominated the next two in a 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 victory over the top-seeded Nadal, the defending champion.
"For sure in the third set it was some of the best tennis I've played against him. I was very consistent, didn't make too many mistakes and kept a cool head in the important moments," Murray said.
The Scotsman had a dominant service game, winning 79 percent of first serve points and firing six aces. He also staved off 5-of-6 of Nadal's break points and broke his Spanish opponent five times.
Murray, seeded second, recorded his first victory against Nadal since 2010, when he beat the Spaniard in a Toronto semifinal. Nadal had won all four matchups this season, including semifinal victories at the French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.
But Murray has been on a roll of late. He has won 21 of his last 22 matches, a string that started after a surprising loss to Kevin Anderson in the second round at Montreal. He won the Cincinnati tournament before falling to Nadal at the U.S. Open, then captured last week's title in Bangkok.
Murray captured his fourth title of the season with Sunday's win, improved to 5-13 all-time against Nadal and collected $295,000 for the victory.
Nadal was in search of his fourth title of the season.
"He played unbelievable; he didn't make any mistakes in the third set," Nadal said of Murray. "He played very aggressive and made no mistakes. When you are playing someone at that level, the only way is to try and get more free points on serve and for me it was impossible today because his return was very impressive."