Mur­ray blows past Berdych into Madrid semis

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

MADRID—Andy Mur­ray claimed his first win over To­mas Berdych on clay and set up a po­ten­tial clash against Rafael Nadal with a com­fort­able straight-sets vic­tory in the Madrid Open quar­ter-fi­nals on Fri­day.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Mur­ray went into the last-eight meet­ing with a 0-3 record on clay against Berdych, who beat him at the same stage in the ATP Mas­ters 1000 tour­na­ment three years ago.

But Berdych had no an­swer for Mur­ray on this oc­ca­sion, his lack of ac­cu­racy prov­ing cru­cial in a 6-3 6-2 de­feat as the Brit took an­other step to­wards de­fend­ing the ti­tle he won 12 months ago in the Span­ish cap­i­tal.

He will now face ei­ther Joao Sousa or Nadal, who over­came Mur­ray in three sets in the semi­fi­nals of the Monte Carlo Mas­ters last month. Mur­ray be­gan pro­ceed­ings with a com­fort­able ser­vice game and quickly moved into the as­cen­dancy as he pounced on a sloppy start from Berdych, who paid the price for a col­lec­tion of er­rant ground­strokes, to go 2-0 ahead.

Berdych held serve to get on the score­board in game four af­ter Mur­ray had threat­ened an­other break with a pair of ex­cel­lently con­structed points.

The Czech was fi­nally able to put some pres­sure on the Mur­ray serve in the sev­enth game, but was un­able to take ad­van­tage at 30-30 as an over­hit smash helped the world num­ber two es­cape and take a 5-2 lead.

Mur­ray was forced to serve for the opener af­ter Berdych held to trim the lead to 5-3 af­ter a game that lasted nearly 10 min­utes, but the Scot had no is­sue in see­ing out the set in 45 min­utes.

Berdych ap­peared more com­posed in the sec­ond but, af­ter the duo ex­changed a pair of holds, a lapse at 2-2 proved costly for the world num­ber eight as Mur­ray seized the ini­tia­tive.

With Mur­ray break point up the two-time grand slam cham­pion was able to get a look at a sec­ond serve and pro­duced a fierce re­turn that Berdych could only send long.—AFP Delhi Dare­dev­ils in­nings: Ris­ing Pune Su­per­giants in­nings:

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