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Page last updated at 05:14 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 06:14 UK

In-form Murray eyes US Open glory

Andy Murray
Murray has never previously contested a Grand Slam semi-final

British number one Andy Murray insists his sights are firmly set on winning the US Open after beating Juan Martin del Potro to reach the last four.

Murray, 21, won in four sets to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final where he will face top seed Rafael Nadal.

"I understand getting to the semis is a great achievement but I want to go a little bit further," said the Scot.

"I said at the start of the tournament, I want to try to win it. I don't want to lose in the semi-finals."

Murray is only the fifth British man in the professional era to reach a Grand Slam singles semi-final, following Roger Taylor, John Lloyd, Greg Rusedski and Tim Henman.

Even if he loses to Nadal on Saturday, he will rise to fourth in the world rankings but his sights are set on lifting the trophy.

He stated: "When you watch the opening of the tournament on the first night session and see all the winners of the US Open, you realise that winning is what really, really counts."

Lloyd, now Britain's Davis Cup captain, believes Murray will win a Grand Slam title in the near future, but perhaps not in New York.

"He's improving quicker than most people thought," Lloyd told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I think he will win a Slam in the next couple of years. I still think Wimbledon will actually be his best opportunity even though he's now in the semi-finals here at the US Open.

Murray seemed to be heading to the semi-finals with minimal fuss when he led Del Potro by two sets and a break.

But after breaking a string in his racquet, he seemed to lose his rhythm and Del Potro broke twice to snatch the third set.

"I don't care what happens throughout the course of a match as long as I win," added Murray.

"I was really happy with the way I managed to come back.

"It was a long match and it would have been easy to get down on myself but I didn't do that."

Needing to break 19-year-old Del Potro to avoid a third tie-break, Murray finally drew some errors from his in-form opponent and capitalised with power and precision.

Del Potro, the 17th seed, has rocketed up the rankings by winning his last four tournaments and was aiming to continue a 23-match winning streak.

"I knew it was going to be a tough match," said Murray. "He has won 20-something matches in a row. I didn't think I was the definite favourite."

I think a lot was sort of made of what happened the last time I played against him but I said it wasn't going to be a problem and just at the end of the match he said, 'I'm sorry for what happened before'

Andy Murray on Juan Martin del Potro

"I knew I was going to have to fight a lot and change the pace of the ball because he's really solid from the back of the court. My tactics worked quite well."

In May, the pair were involved in a spat during their first-round clash in Rome.

Murray was annoyed that Del Potro had not apologised for hitting the ball straight at him and then accused the Argentine of insulting his mother Judy.

But after his victory on Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows, Murray said: "I think quite early on in the match there was sort of a feeling of respect between us.

"There was no arguing over line calls or anyone trying to get in anyone's face.

"I think a lot was sort of made of what happened the last time I played against him but I said it wasn't going to be a problem and just at the end of the match he said, 'I'm sorry for what happened before'.

606: DEBATE
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"I told him it was a great run he had been on. I'm sure we'll have some great matches in the future. That was it."

Del Potro paid a warm tribute to his opponent.

"He played an unbelievable match. We played like four hours, I don't know, but he's a great player - and that's it," said the teenager.

"I have improved a lot but today I played against one of the best players in the world."

After losing the opening set of his quarter-final, Nadal made light work of Fish but is aware of the threat posed by Murray.

"It's going to be very difficult," confirmed Nadal, who will also contest his first US Open semi-final. "I'm going to have to play my best.

"He's coming with big confidence. He's doing very well. I expect a very tough match.

"For me, it was a very important win. It's a very important thing for me to play all the semi-finals in the Grand Slams in the same year.

"I'm also very happy to be in the semi-finals of the US Open for the first time. You want to play well in all tournaments and in the past I have not always done well here."

Jamie Murray could beat his younger brother to a trophy this week if he and American mixed doubles partner Liezel Huber prevail in the final today.

They face fifth seeds Cara Black and Leander Paes at 1730 BST.



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Murray v Del Potro as it happened
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Brilliant Murray into last eight
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Murray v Wawrinka as it happened
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Nadal battles into quarter-finals
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Murray edges to win over Llodra
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Murray strolls through at US Open
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Murray leaps to defence of mother
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Men's singles draw
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Tennis on the BBC
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Murray wins after epic fightback
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