Andy Murray faces Rafael Nadal in Monte Carlo semi-finals
Friday 15 April 2011
Andy Murray completed a routine 6-2 6-1 win over Portuguese qualifier Frederico Gil to set up a Monte Carlo Masters semi-final with six-time reigning champion Rafael Nadal.
A first-serve percentage down at 50% was the only blemish in a wonderful display from the Scot, who hit 26 winners and went through his full repertoire of strokes.
The British number one has looked back to his best this week, ending a winless run stretching back over two months to the Australian Open final and dropping only one set en route to the last four.
Murray broke in the third game and held comfortably to lead 3-1, aided by his trusty drop-shot - the use of which yesterday against injured home favourite Gilles Simon saw him uncharitably booed by the home crowd as he entered the court today.
He powered into a 5-1 lead, breaking with the help of some powerful forehands before pushing on from 30-all to hold.
Gil stopped the rot with a hard-fought hold and set up two break points as Murray served for the set, but was thwarted as his forehand on the second rebounded off the net-tape and Murray came through to take the set 6-2 in 37 minutes.
Gil held to 30 and put pressure on Murray's serve, the Scot shading a long rally at deuce before finishing the job with an ace.
A wild Murray miscue into the stand was of no consequence as he won four straight points to break to 30 and lead 2-1 in the second set.
He easily defended the break and some more fine stroke-making took him 4-1 up and finally won over the crowd.
A bullying love hold took him within one game of victory, a mixture of drop shots, lobs and powerful groundstrokes sending the valiant but outclassed Gil scurrying to all corners.
And the world number 82's resistance was ended as Murray set up three break points in the next, taking the second with a powerful forehand into space.
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