A MURRAY (GB) v G MONFILS (Fra)
* denotes server
LATEST ACTION (all times BST)
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1424: Murray, as you can probably imagine, is absolutely bubbling over with excitement about reaching the Madrid semi-finals for the first time. "Yeah it was a really solid performance," he dead-pans. Could be a Rog up next and a repeat of the US Open final. Tasty. Bye for now.
Murray 6-2 6-2 Monfils
Genuine gasps of admiration from the crowd as Murray bends and flicks a deadly backhand pass crosscourt. Monfils has a game point but Murray chases the length of the court to plant a forehand down the line. A disappointed and disheartened Monfils double-faults to hand Murray the match in not much more than an hour. Au revoir Gael.
Murray 6-2 5-2 Monfils
"FOCUS!" screams not Monfils, but Murray, as he dumps a lazy drop shot into the net to give Monfils a break-back point. Another error from the fourth seed hands Le Monf the game - and a bit of his pride back too.
Murray 6-2 5-1 Monfils
Murray nonchalantly puts his hand up to acknowledge the crowd after producing the most mind-blowing backhand pass on the run off a Monfils smash. Yikes. This is a bit uncomfortable for the sorry Frenchman now. Another break and Murray is a game away.
Murray 6-2 4-1 Monfils
Easy, easy, easy. Murray's on his way here after a comfortable hold. Federer or Del Potro await in the semi-final.
Murray 6-2 3-1 Monfils
Or maybe not... Murray strikes to force the break point, but Monfils digs out a massive first serve. At game point, Le Monf - as only he can - literally throws himself at a volley but to no avail. Murray forces another break point and after a quite astonishing rally - which involves both men sprinting back and forth to the net - the Frenchman survives. But on the third, Monfils sees his volley dip over the baseline and Murray has the break.
Murray 6-2 2-1 Monfils
Monfils goes for an outrageous winner down the line but just misses and Murray seals another easy service hold. Since I wrote at 2-2 in the first set that Monfils was "coping reasonably well" with Murray, the Brit has effortlessly taken control of this match and I can no longer see anything but a Murray win. Cue Monfils renaissance.
1356: "I'm getting frustrated with life too (see 6-2). Can I get the support of a crowd?"
Anon via text on 81111
Murray 6-2 1-1 Monfils
Better. Monfils produces a delicate little drop volley to start off the game, which he goes on to hold to love. Big confidence boost for Le Monf, stopping a run of five games against.
Murray 6-2 1-0 Monfils
A shrug of the shoulders from Monfils as he dumps a forehand into the net. A truly dreadful return into the tramlines gives Murray the easy hold.
Murray 6-2 Monfils
The Madrid crowd start getting behind Monfils, who is getting increasingly frustrated with life. The Frenchman chases down a cheeky Murray drop shot but dumps it in the net, giving Murray two set points. He takes the first. The semi-finals are beckoning already...
Murray 5-2 Monfils
Monfils is literally and metaphorically scratching his head here. Murray apparently spent the first few games weaving his web and now Monfils has walked straight into it, making a series of errors to make the hold easy for Murray.
Murray 4-2 Monfils
The first mutterings of discontent from Monfils as a lazy forehand drifts into the trams. He squeezes a backhand up the line to save the first of three break points before launching two successful net attacks - but Murray's not done yet. He earns a fourth break point and some fabulous defensive work eventually earns him the break, a frustrated Monfils slapping a backhand into the net.
1338: "Murray will not be in the final. He has a ticket to watch Hibs spank Hearts at Easter Road on Sunday. U heard it here first!"
Eddie, Leith, via text on 81111
Murray 3-2 Monfils
Murray's clever attempts at a forehand cross flicks off the net and actually helps Monfils - who whips away the short ball. Murray holds on from deuce again. Monfils is coping reasonably well with Murray's dastardly game so far.
Murray 2-2 Monfils
An ace takes Monfils to 40-0, and another gives him a love service game. Tout c'est bon, he is almost certainly saying to himself.
Murray 2-1 Monfils
First fist pump from Murray as he wraps his wrist round a difficult forehand, and manages to get it past Monfils. The Frenchman responds by pounding a forehand crosscourt beyond the desperate stretch of his opponent. This is more like it. Murray, who seems to be bothered by some noise from the roof, holds from deuce.
Murray 1-1 Monfils
... And Monfils throws away the break immediately with a pretty tame service game. Murray finishes it off with a rasping forehand. As you were.
1322: "Re 1300: I've been told that to maximise happiness one should not have high expectations of anything in life. Cup of tea anyone?"
Dave, Stevenage, via text on 81111
Lovely. Not too much milk please.
Murray 0-1 Monfils
Long, cagey baseline rallies the order of the day in this first game, which is not going to bring the crowd flooding through the doors. Monfils is the only man to fire any clean winners, the second of which gives the Frenchman a break point. A Murray drop shot into the net puts Monfils up a break already.
1312: The Casa de Campo isn't exactly bursting at the seams for this encounter. Late lunch for the Madrilenos apparently. Anyhoo, Murray to serve first. Ready? Play.
1309: The winner of this match will face Roger Federer or Juan Martin del Potro in tomorrow's semis. Nice. Monfils and Murray have met twice before - but not since 2006, and never on this surface. Murray won the first encounter in Hamburg, Le Monf won the second at Roland Garros.
1305: If you have any views on my sanity or lack of, or indeed about this match, why not drop me a text on 81111 or pop in on 606.
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1300: Hola todo el mundo, bienvenido a Madrid... oh, go on then, I'm not actually in Madrid, but I am in spirit. This first quarter-final sees the all-action Gael 'Don't call me Gail' Monfils take on the master of the unexpected, Andy Murray. I'm expecting fireworks. Am I mad? Am I???