SONY ERICSSON OPEN 2012
Murray Rallies To Reach Semifinals
by Matt Fitzgerald|
World No. 4 Andy Murray advanced to his third Sony Ericsson Open semi-final on Wednesday, rallying for a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over ninth seed Janko Tipsarevic. He will play Rafael Nadal Friday in the semi-finals.
"Today's match was really important for me to get through after how it was going, [fighting] back after being a break down a few times in the second set," Murray said. "And then also, at the end of the third set when I was up a break, he had break point in a tight game, and I came up with some big serves and served my way out of trouble, which is important."
After falling behind 2-4, Tipsarevic reeled off six straight games to take a set and a break lead against the 2009 Miami champion. But Murray battled back to win the second set, and converted the lone service break in the final set to prevail over the Serbian in two hours and 39 minutes. With the win, the Scot improved to 5-3 versus Tipsarevic.
"[They were] tough, tough conditions. But I thought I struck the ball pretty well from the back of the court," said Murray. "I was hitting it pretty clean but needed to make better shot selection. Because of the wind, I was maybe trying to hit it too close to the line and not building the points as much I needed to. So when I did that, I did a bit better."
Murray is bidding to win his second title of the year, having triumphed in Brisbane (d. Dolgopolov) to begin his season. He also finished runner-up to Roger Federer in Dubai and was edged out by eventual Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic in a five-set thriller at Melbourne Park.
World No. 2 Nadal set up a semi-final showdown with fourth-ranked Murray after topping sixth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in two hours and 50 minutes.
The Spaniard served for the match at 5-4 in the second set, before Tsonga caught fire to win three games in a row, forcing a third set. Each player held their nerve until the ninth game, when Nadal converted his fourth break against the Frenchman to lead 5-4. In an intense final game, the three-time Miami finalist fought off two break points to knock off Tsonga for the second consecutive year in the quarter-final stage at Crandon Park.
Nadal is bidding to become the first Spanish man to win the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event and is also seeking his first title of the year, having reached the final of the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic). He holds a 13-5 record against Murray, but the Scot won their most recent encounter in the Tokyo title match last October.
The tournament set a new attendance record for Session 18, with 14,176 fans turning out for Wednesday’s night session.
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