Andy Murray defeats Rafael Nadal in Japan Open final
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
Andy Murray came from a set down to beat defending champion Rafael Nadal in the final of the Japan Open.
The British number one, who won last week's Thailand Open, hit six aces and broke Nadal twice to win the second set 6-2 after losing the first 6-3.
The Scot then broke the Spanish world number two on three more occasions to win by taking the deciding set 6-0.
"I played some great tennis and the third set was some of the best I've played against him," said Murray.
"There were a lot of close games towards the end of the first set and beginning of the second and I managed to get the momentum and didn't give him many chances after that.
"I was very consistent, didn't make too many mistakes and kept a cool head in the important moments."
Murray had been beaten by Nadal in their last five matches and defeat number six had looked the more likely outcome for the world number four as he struggled with his serve in the first set.
But he found his range in the second and after breaking Nadal in game four, he sent down three consecutive aces in the the fifth game to recover from 0-40 to open up a 4-1 lead.
Murray, who had won 11 matches in a row going into the final, but lost twice in the last four months to Nadal, then broke again to level at one set all.
In the decider, Murray conceded just four points as he raced to his fourth title of the season, following victories at the Wimbledon warm-up at Queen's Club, Cincinnati and Bangkok.
"I've given myself the target of ending the year at number three (in the world) so hopefully I can carry on that form," added Murray, who closed in on current number three Roger Federer with the victory.
Nadal has won just three of his 10 finals this season, the first six of his seven defeats being inflicted by world number one Novak Djokovic.
However, he conceded he was powerless to stop Murray's march to the title.
"Andy played unbelievable. He deserves the title," said the Spaniard.
"I've lost a few sets 6-0 of course. You prefer it doesn't happen, but he played fantastic and in the third set he started to play at a really high level. Accept. That's it."
Murray returned around an hour later, with his brother Jamie, to win the doubles as well.
The Murrays raced to a 6-1 first-set lead over Czech Republic pair Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek before taking the second 6-4.