Andy Murray ruthlessly dismisses Jeremy Chardy to reach Australian Open semi-finals

British number one comes through in straight sets

Melbourne

Jeremy Chardy was playing beach tennis at Port
Melbourne yesterday. The 25-year-old Frenchman probably wished he had gone back
there today after being swept out of the Australian Open on a wave of winners
by Andy Murray. The Scot played his best tennis of the tournament so far to win
6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and claim a place in Friday’s semi-final against Roger Federer,
who beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6, 4-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3.

The Scot played his best tennis of the tournament so far to win 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 and claim a place in Friday’s semi-final against the winner of tonight’s concluding quarter-final between Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Chardy, a big hitter with an explosive forehand and a powerful serve, can be a threat to the very best players, as Murray discovered to his cost when he lost their last meeting in Cincinnati last summer, but on this occasion he was never given the chance to get into his stride. Murray, who raced into a 4-0 lead, was on his game from the start, forcing the world No 36 on to the back foot and never giving him time to play his shots.

Murray had already been on court for less time than any of the other seven quarter-finalists and this 110-minute demolition job took his total playing time in his five matches here this year to less than nine hours. Having had to play all his matches in the heat of the day, Murray will be delighted to have conserved his energy. His only concern now, with all the remaining singles matches to be played at night, might be that he has had no experience of playing in the cooler evening conditions.

Chardy could not have made a worse start, opening with a double fault and then putting a routine backhand in the net on break point. The Frenchman recovered to win three games in a row in the middle of the set, but Murray was soon back in charge. Chardy won the first game of the second set but from that point onwards he lost eight games in a row.

Murray, who has now won 46 of his last 50 matches against French players, suffered a momentary lapse when he failed to serve out for the match at 5-1 in the third set, but it was only delaying the inevitable. On his first match point in the following game Murray broke Chardy’s serve for the eighth and last time, pressuring the Frenchman into netting a forehand with the quality of his return. Murray hit a total of 32 winners – an impressive tally considering how short the match was – and made just 20 unforced errors.

If the draw has been kind to Murray, who has yet to face a top 10 opponent, he has shown admirable focus on his task. He has reached his 12 Grand Slam semi-final without losing a set, a feat he had achieved only once before, at the Australian Open three years ago. He is building a formidable record on these courts, having reached the semi-finals or better for the last four years in a row.

If the world No 3 is to win the title, however, he will have to make history. In the Open era no player has followed up his maiden Grand Slam title with victory in his next tournament. The way Murray played today, however, he will be thinking that anything is possible.

Federer had to work hard to secure his place in the semi-finals for the tenth year in succession. Tsonga had fought his way back into the match with some bold attacking play in the fourth set, but Federer never looked back after breaking serve early in the decider. Murray and Federer will be meeting in a Grand Slam tournament for the fourth time, the Swiss having won all three of their previous matches, the most recent being last year’s Wimbledon final.

 

News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
United States President Barack Obama, right, uses actor Keegan-Michael Key from Key & Peele to play the part of 'Luther, President Obama's anger translator'
video
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions