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Page last updated at 18:53 GMT, Wednesday, 1 July 2009 19:53 UK

Murray ignores hype ahead of semi

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Murray confident heading into semi

By Piers Newbery
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Britain's Andy Murray insists he can ignore any media pressure going into his first Wimbledon semi-final.

Murray hopes to become the first Briton since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the men's title, and he swept aside Juan Carlos Ferrero in the last eight.

"It doesn't make any difference to the way you perform, the hype," he said.

"If you ignore it you don't realise it's happening. I don't read it because 90% of the stuff's going to be pretty much untrue anyway. It's been fine."

Murray will play two-time finalist Andy Roddick in the semi-finals on Friday after the American overcame Lleyton Hewitt in a five-set thriller.

Having beaten Roddick six times, including a straight-sets win at Wimbledon in 2006, and only lost twice in eight matches, Murray will go into the match full of confidence.

I understand that I can lose the next match if I don't play my best

Andy Murray

The Scot is the centre of increasing attention as he looks a serious contender to end Britain's long wait for a champion, with Virginia Wade's 1977 victory the last singles title for the home fans to cheer.

Roger Federer remains the favourite as the five-time champion and world number two, but Murray has a 6-2 record against the Swiss and has won their last four meetings.

To reach the final, Federer will first need to beat Germany's Tommy Haas.

Murray was in terrific form against Ferrero, dominating on both serve and return as he showed exactly why he is ranked three in the world with a 7-5 6-3 6-2 win.

But he refused to get carried away and remained focused on Friday's semi-final.

"I understand that I can lose the next match if I don't play my best," he said. "That's been one of the things that I've learned, and it's made a huge difference to me over the last year or so.

"I feel confident because I've won a lot of matches on the grass but every day when I get up to play the matches, I know that I'm going to have to perform very well, and that gets the nerves and the adrenaline going and makes me play better."

Murray was first class - Henman

The Scot hit 18 aces and faced just two break points against Ferrero as his serve was back to its best in the hot conditions.

"It does make a big difference when you can get free points on your serve," he said.

"It's much easier to put pressure on your opponent, on his service games, if you're making a lot of returns and you're kind of cruising through your service games quickly.

"Especially on grass, if you serve great it makes a big difference to your confidence going throughout the match."

606: DEBATE

Murray's last match had taken place in very different conditions as he finished close to 2300 BST after a five-set win over Stanislas Wawrinka under the floodlights and Centre Court roof.

"The court played very quickly today," he said. "I got a lot of free points on my serve. His shots were kind of shooting through the court a little bit lower than the other night.

Henman on Murray v Roddick

"Maybe it took me a few games to get used to that but, once I did, I hit the ball well."

And Murray said that he had been unhappy with the media reaction to his post-match comments on Monday which suggested he did not like the indoor conditions.

"I was a bit disappointed," said Murray. "I think it was kind of made out I was complaining about the roof. I wasn't at all.

"I guess it was the first match ever to play under the roof and I was asked how the conditions were. I gave an honest and pretty fair assessment of how it played - it does play slower, which is not a complaint. It's more humid."

I think he's one of the best returning guys that there is on a grass court. He returns everything, doesn't matter how you serve

Juan Carlos Ferrero

Ferrero admitted that a breathtaking run of form in the second set that saw Murray break to love twice in succession had been the key to the match.

"In 10 minutes, he beat me," said the Spaniard. "He won the second set very fast. After two sets to love, it was a little bit difficult to come up and physically I felt a little bit tired at the end, so it was difficult."

And on Murray, the former French Open champion added: "When you are serving like this and you get two or three points every game free, it's very difficult to lose.

"I think he's one of the best returning guys that there is on a grass court. He returns everything, doesn't matter how you serve. It's difficult to play like this.

"But he has two matches left. He will suffer, for sure."

Andy Murray

Highlights - Murray wraps up quarter final win



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see also
McEnroe and Henman on Murray
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Murray confident heading into semi
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Murray through to Wimbledon semis
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Murray reaches doubles semi-final
02 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Haas stuns Djokovic to make semis
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Federer sees off Karlovic threat
01 Jul 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis


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