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Page last updated at 18:55 GMT, Friday, 17 April 2009 19:55 UK

Murray reaches first semi on clay

Murray will play Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Saturday
Murray will play Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals on Saturday

Andy Murray reached his first semi-final on clay by winning two matches on Friday at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The British number one sealed a rain-affected 7-6 (13-11) 6-4 win over Italy's Fabio Fognini on Friday morning to reach the last eight.

The fourth seed then overcame Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 7-6 (7-1) 6-4 late in the evening to set up a semi-final with world number one Rafael Nadal.

"It was a good day. I'm looking forward to getting into bed now," said Murray.

"It's been a long couple of days and I'm very happy to come through it."

Murray, who had never reached a clay quarter-final until beating Fognini, was not at his best against Davydenko but dominated the tie-break to win the opening set.

It's just a couple of blisters. I've got new rackets for the clay-court season and the grips are a bit different

Andy Murray

He struggled with his serve in the second as the eighth seed hit back to lead 4-1.

However, the Scot recovered his composure to win the next five games and converted his third match point to seal victory.

Murray appeared to struggle with a hand injury but confirmed it was nothing serious.

"It's just a couple of blisters. I've got new rackets for the clay-court season and the grips are a bit different," he said.

And he said he was looking forward to meeting Nadal on clay.

"There'll be a lot of expectation on me but it's great experience for me to learn a lot from playing the top guys about how they play on clay," he added.

The 21-year-old had taken the first set against Fognini on Thursday before bad weather forced play to be stopped.

He made a slow start when the match resumed on Friday but his patient play eventually sank the world number 108.

Fognini had raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set before Murray recovered and the second set followed a similar script.

606: DEBATE
slashermcguirk

The Scot was broken in his first service game and Fognini's aggressive approach meant Murray was constantly under pressure.

But errors began to creep into Fognini's game and the more desperate he became to produce winners, the more mistakes he made.

Murray was not at his best either but his steady play soon brought him level and left the temperamental Fognini close to boiling point.

The Italian twice hurled his racquet to the ground after playing wayward shots while 5-4 down and Murray wrapped up his win when Fognini hit a limp smash into the net when facing his second match-point.



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see also
Monte Carlo photos
17 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Davydenko as it happened
17 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Impressive Nadal romps into semis
17 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Fognini as it happened
17 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Serve letting me down - Federer
16 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Nadal & Federer win clay openers
15 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Murray opens clay season with win
14 Apr 09 |  Tennis
Rivals still fearful of Federer
13 Apr 09 |  Tennis


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