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Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Friday, 13 May 2011 13:07 UK

Andy Murray v Florian Mayer as it happened


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By Oliver Brett

1304: It only remains for me to thank you for joining me, and direct you to Chris Whyatt's report. Have a smashing weekend.

Michael Crawford on Twitter: "Happy to get a mention on #bbctennis so now I'll slink back into the sewers beneath the opera house..."

1301: The women's draw also has its first semi-finalist - and that's Li Na, a 6-3, 6-1 winner over Greta Arn.

1257: Meanwhile, I should tell you that we are far from certain to see Rafael Nadal in action today. The Spaniard has been struggling with a fever and has not yet decided whether or not to take on Marin Cilic.

1254: Murray's next opponent will be either Robin Soderling or Novak Djokovic, so a big step-up in class faces him tomorrow. But he will have the advantage of having a longer break than whoever he faces and he was on court for barely an hour and a half today.

Sarah on Twitter: "Maybe he's waiting for a tournament win before a trip to the barber. I'm thinking shaven head a la Serbia Davis Cup team."

It's good news for a Briton
The match is over
1251: After a horrible first set, Murray has pulled himself together to beat Florian Mayer and become the first Briton to reach the Rome Masters semi-finals. Well done him.

Murray 1-6 6-1 6-1 Mayer
Mayer's lost his way. He gets a second serve to attack but the backhand return lands in the tramlines. Now the German pushes a groundstroke long and the shoulders slump further. An attempted backhand pass from Mayer just goes wide and Murray has two match points. And he does it at the first time of asking, wrong-footing his opponent with another big forehand.

Murray* 1-6 6-1 5-1 Mayer
Mayer plays two weak points to go 0-30 down and now Murray finds a blistering pass to leave his opponent stranded. He breaks to love, he's almost there.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Anonymous, via text: "What the hell is going on Mayer? Sort it out and take down the Scot!"

Murray 1-6 6-1 4-1 *Mayer
Having played the perfect rally, pulling his partner around like children's play putty, Murray smacks an overhead into the net to lose the point. Whoops. But he wins the next two points, with Mayer playing his shots from way behind the baseline. The next two points are shared before Mayer's return goes long to give Murray another important game.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 6-1 3-1 Mayer
Mayer gets some first serves in to race to 40-0, before Murray bangs home a winner down the line with his forehand. Mayer wins the next rally, however, to get on the scoreboard in this set.
* denotes next to serve

Michael Crawford on Twitter: "One set all and a break up in the third... were predictions of Murray's demise perhaps a little premature?"

Murray 1-6 6-1 3-0 *Mayer
Murray's found some good form, so it comes as a surprise when he plonks a drop-shot tamely into the net before sliding awkwardly as he mis-hits a volley. Lovely ace down the middle, his first of the match, brings up 40-30 and a well-crafter rally brings up 3-0 in the decider.
* denotes next to serve

It's good news for a Briton
Murray* 1-6 6-1 2-0 Mayer
Mayer's second serve, for a tall man, is not a potent weapon in any way. Murray is all over one of them with a booming backhand across court for 15-40. Now he forces the German to hit a backhand volley into the net. Seven games in a row for Murray I believe.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Ryan, Taunton, text message: "There is no denying that Murray has the talent to win a slam but he has still yet to properly address his biggest obstacle, himself. When Murray is on song he can beat anyone, but when things aren't going his way he still has yet to prove that he can turn things around when it matters."

Murray 1-6 6-1 1-0 *Mayer
Strange start to the final set as the first point is replayed not once but twice after the chair umpire over-rules a couple of line calls. At 30-30, a physically punishing rally is won by Murray, whose fitness in some fairly testing heat is in good order. An error from him sets up deuce, but Murray puts lots of side-spin on a groundstroke to fox the German. The game is won with a forehand winner.
* denotes next to serve

Sam Burne James on Twitter: "I know they all have different characteristics, so is the Rome clay supposed to be a particularly fine/thick/fast/soft one?"
I'm no expert, but it seems to depend on time of day/weather. When Murray played his night match against Xavier Malisse it was much slower. Today, there's no humidity and it's sunny and breezy. So it's very dry and a bit quicker. In fact, they're watering it now.

Murray* 1-6 6-1 Mayer
A long rally is ended with a winning Murray forehand for 30-30, and now a weak Mayer forehand brings up set-point. Murray wins with a clean backhand winner. One set all.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 5-1 *Mayer
Mayer fails to put away a smash and it's soon 40-0 when he tries to chase down a lob and fails. Murray wins the game to love. One-way traffic for the time being.
* denotes next to serve

Laura Hutchinson on Twitter: "Much prefer watching Andy when he's saying 'Come on' rather than sulking. Would also prefer it if he had a haircut and shave."

Murray* 1-6 4-1 Mayer
The balance of power is shifting all of a sudden, as Murray sprints up to the net to play a delicate crosscourt drop shot winner. That's 0-40 and a backhand crosscourt return winner makes Murray a big favourite for this set.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 3-1 *Mayer
Murray has held serve JUST ONCE in this match, and again he's under severe pressure at 0-30. Two better points from the Briton bring us to 30-30 and a big first serve sets up a forehand winner for 40-30. Now a wild Murray error on the forehand side gets spoils the hard work, but he gets another chance to close out the game, and he does so when Mayer fires a forehand beyone the baseline.
* denotes next to serve

David Waters on Twitter: "Until Andy Murray sorts out his first serve he's never going to be a genuine contender."

It's good news for a Briton
Murray* 1-6 2-1 Mayer
Holding serve is a tough job for both these guys at the moment. Murray gets two break-points with some decent returns but next point Mayer holds firm with some good overheads and a punched volley brings up deuce. Super Murray return, a third break-point for him, and a backhand down the line gets the job done.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 1-6 1-1 *Mayer
That hard-earned break of serve needs to be underlined here but can Murray hold his own serve? Pressure at 0-30, and Mayer's returning solidly here, so that's 0-40. Big first serve for Murray makes it 15-40, but a brilliant winner down the line, delivered on his backhand flank, wins Mayer the game.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-6 1-0 Mayer
Murray needs to start this set with a break if he can, and after reeling off the first three points, he does exactly that after a rally of marathon proportions ends in his favour. Much better.
* denotes next to serve

Martin Hennessy on Twitter: " 'Murray's best days are behind him'? [See text message below.] He's young, fit & outrageously talented. Slam contender for years to come."

Murray 1-6 *Mayer
The first double-fault of the match brings up 0-30, and a brilliant crosscourt return gives Mayer three set-points. This is frighteningly one-sided at present. Murray wins a couple of points, but Mayer takes the set as the British pro hits a stretched overhead into the net.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-5 Mayer
Finally, a bit more joy for Murray as he puts his opponent under pressure at 15-40. However Mayer rebounds from that crisis to get to deuce and then Murray hits an easy forehand into the net. Oh dear.
* denotes next to serve

1137: Judy Murray's daily blog is a racy affair today: "Early morning traffic chaos avoided by driver taking us through so many back roads around and above the city, that at one stage, we wondered if we were being kidnapped."

It's bad news for a Briton
Murray 1-4 *Mayer
Nothing's coming easily to Murray today, as he sends a groundstroke from the baseline half a yard long, and a tremendous pass from Mayer brings up break point. Murray is now forced to hit a half-volley from the back of the court, and again it goes long. This German chap's in fine fettle.
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 1-3 Mayer
A good return forces a Mayer error and it brings up break point, but Mayer recovers his composure to win the next rally and he also saves a subsequent break point with a good serve. A couple of points later, Mayer has Murray scampering around all over the court in vain. And he just about hangs on to hold his serve. That could be an important game.
* denotes next to serve

Text in your views on 81111
Endada, Cumbria, via text message: "I hate to say it but I think Murray's best days are behind him and that King over there isn't wearing any clothes. "

Murray 1-2 *Mayer
Murray needs to open his account here, and he does it. Mayer puts a tough volley into the net for 30-0, and another Murray-dictated rally is won by the British player. He soon wins the game. Please refresh your browser to correct some silly errors. Thanks!
* denotes next to serve

Murray* 0-2 Mayer
Murray's already showing some negative body language as a return sails long to bring up 40-15 and Starace goes on to hold his serve with minimal fuss.
* denotes next to serve

Murray 0-1 *Mayer
Positive serve-volley takes Murray to 30-0, before an attempted lob drops wide and brings the German his first point. Another error from the British number one brings up 30-30 and two points later we reach deuce. Another mistake, and a bad one too, follows as Murray hits an overhead smash into the net - and Starace converts his first break-point as he forces Murray to hit an attempted pass into the net.
* denotes next to serve

1112: Murray is wearing Wimbledon-appropriate kit, all white except for a flash of green on his collar and shoulders. It's not exactly packed in the public galleries, but more Romans are trickling through the turnstiles and making their way to their seats as I speak. Murray to serve first.

1110: Mayer, wearing a white top with green horizontal stripes, is on a career-high ranking and in his first Masters Series quarter-final. He is said to be an unorthodox player. How will that pan out against Murray's fabled defensive and recovery skills?

Text in your views on 81111
Denis, Preston, viz text message: "Can't see Murray winning today. Mayer has improved recently and is very dangerous on the red stuff."

1106: It's sunny and slightly breezy in Rome. The players are just starting their knock-up. After beating Potito Starace in straight sets yesterday, Murray said: "I won a lot of points on long rallies where I probably shouldn't have, and at important moments."

Zainab Walji on Twitter: "Here's hoping that Andy has an easy victory to become the first British man to reach semis of Rome."
An important landmark to obtain indeed...

1100: Let's not forget the women's draw, where second seed and defending Roland Garros champion Francesca Schiavone delighted a vocally partisan home crowd as she came from behind to beat Daniela Hantuchova 3-6 6-2 7-5.

1059: So what's been going on with the big three here in Rome? Nadal and Djokovic, needless to report, sauntered into the quarter-finals yesterday, but Roger Federer blew a set and a break advantage to crash out to Richard Gasquet, and afterwards - somewhat ungraciously - said: "He knows how close he came to losing."

1055: If you fancy making use of your Twitter log-in to send me your thoughts then please employ the hashtag at #bbctennis OR text me on 81111 (UK) with TENNIS before your message. Good, now let the tennis begin. Murray is first on the main show court at 1100.

Victoria Jennings on Twitter: "Murray to shock us all today with a straight sets, comfortable win."

1052: Murray has been handed a kind path through this tournament. He's yet to face a seed on the Italian clay, and the trend continues today as the draw throws up Florian Mayer, a 27-year-old from the German town of Bayreuth, famous for its Wagner operas. Mayer is currently ranked 28 in the world.

1050: It's Rome, it's quarter-finals day and Andy Murray is just one match away from a potential meeting with the red-hot Novak Djokovic in the last four.

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see also
Murray through to Rome last four
13 May 11 |  Tennis
Murray eases into quarter-finals
13 May 11 |  Tennis
Federer beaten by Gasquet in Rome
13 May 11 |  Tennis
Djokovic continues winning streak
12 May 11 |  Tennis
Murray battles to Malisse victory
12 May 11 |  Tennis
Federer keen to challenge top two
10 May 11 |  Tennis
Djokovic ends Nadal's run on clay
11 May 11 |  Tennis
New coach not imminent - Murray
06 May 11 |  Tennis
Ragged Murray beaten by Bellucci
05 May 11 |  Tennis
Murray labours to Madrid victory
05 May 11 |  Tennis

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