Andy Murray reaches semi-finals in Rome

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Andy Murray became the first Briton to make the semi-finals in Rome in the open era after battling back to beat Germany's Florian Mayer today.

Murray was brushed aside in the opening set but gradually found a foothold before upping his game to secure a 1-6 6-1 6-1 triumph and set up a potential rematch with Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic beat Murray comprehensively in the Australian Open final at the start of the year - a defeat which prompted a woeful run of form for the Scot.

By contrast, Djokovic is yet to lose a match this year and the pair will clash once more if the Serb can see off Robin Soderling and improve his record for 2011 to 34-0 tonight.

Murray will need to reproduce the tennis he displayed in sets two and three if he is to have any chance but the way he turned the contest around should offer encouragement.

Mayer started superbly and broke in the Scot's opening service game although Murray was partially culpable.

A woeful smash gifted the German a break point which he then took when Murray netted an equally sloppy backhand.

The Dunblane-born star was finding it tough to get any rhythm with Mayer's unconventional game proving tricky to read, in particular his double-handed sliced backhand.

Murray had his chances, though, Mayer saving two break points to go 3-1 up before he made it 4-1 with a booming backhand off a short Murray second serve.

Two more break points for Murray came and went before Mayer clinched the set after returning a drop shot with a clever lob which the Scot could only dump into the net.

Mayer's level inevitably dipped at the start of the second and three successive breaks handed Murray a 2-1 lead.

And with the world number four finally finding his range, he held - after a lengthy game - before moving 4-1 in front with Mayer suddenly struggling to make an impression.

The set was duly wrapped up and the momentum remained with Murray as he broke to establish a 2-0 advantage in the decider, his backhand pass proving too heavy for Mayer to put back in court.

The German finally got on the scoreboard to reduce the deficit to 3-1 - ending Murray's run of eight successive games - but he could not stem the tide as Murray marched through.