Andy Murray vs Richard Gasquet match report: Murray marches on at Cincinnati Open to set-up Roger Federer semi-final

Andy Murray defeated Ricahard Gasquet 4-6, 6-1, 6-4

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray's bid for a third Cincinnati Open title remains on course after he came through another testing battle to book a semi-final against Roger Federer.

Having come through a marathon against Grigor Dimitrov on Thursday, British number one Murray had to contend with the heat and going a set down to Richard Gasquet on Centre Court, but then pulled out a half-hour second set to get the crowd going.

Both players were wilting as the quarter-final crossed the two-hour mark, and a topsy-turvy final set saw Murray secure a 4-6 6-1 6-4 win on his serve, and he will now face Federer after the Swiss second seed beat Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4.

Afterwards, Murray told Sky Sports 3: "I think I was striking the ball well, better as match went on. I was a little bit sluggish at the beginning of the match, at the end I was striking well.

"When you're doing that these courts are fairly quick so I was able to dictate the points. I didn't have to do as much running. I came up with a few good defensive shots in the third set when it mattered.

"I'm tired, my body hurts. But these matches at the US Open just coming up are good for me physically and mentally. I've won a lot of matches this year which helps when you're behind."

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Andy Murray gestures his team after defeating Richard Gasquet

Both players had held serve for the better part of the first set, as the Scot, with his brother Jamie watching on, took the score up to 4-3 at one stage.

But he failed to take any of the three break point chances in what was a 12-minute game eight on the Frenchman's serve.

Instead, Gasquet would go on to break Murray the first chance he got, and then finished it off 6-4 on his own serve with a forehand winner.

It seemed to fire up Murray though, with the world number two racing away in the second set against a visibly tiring Gasquet, breaking his opponent in the second game en route to a 5-0 lead in less than half an hour.

An effective Gasquet drop shot meant Murray had to serve for the set at 5-1, but two forehands pulled long by the Frenchman brought the Scot back level in the match.

It was Murray's turn to show the strain, even if momentum remained with him as he beautifully lobbed his opponent in the third game of the final set to make it 40-15 before a Gasquet double fault provided the break.

Murray was looking increasingly frustrated with his mistakes, a fact Gasquet used to good effect in another lengthy service game to go 3-2 up.

It proved a back-and-forth set, as breaks were exchanged between both players and Murray somehow found himself 5-4 up on his serve, eventually clinching things on his second match point with a ripping serve.

PA

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