Miami Masters 2015: Andy Murray defeats spirited Dominic Thiem to set-up anticipated Australian Open rematch with Thomas Berdych

Murray sees off world No 52 Thiem 3-6 6-4 6-1 to reach the last four in Miami where he will face Berdych in a rematch of the infamous Australian Open clash

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray overcame a spirited challenge from Dominic Thiem to reach the semi-finals of the Miami Open.

Unseeded Thiem, 21, was playing in his first Masters quarter-final but showed no signs of any nerves against the 2009 and 2013 champion.

The Austrian took the first set and fought back from a break down in the second, but third seed Murray showed all of his experience to take the tie to a decider before outlasting his opponent to seal a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory.

Murray, who will face Tomas Berdych in the last four after he beat Juan Monaco 6-3 6-4 triumph in 92 minutes, wrapped up his 500th career win on Tuesday, but made an unconvincing start against world number 52 Thiem.

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Murray needed three sets to get past the spirited challenge of Thiem

He was broken on his second service game, with Thiem then holding to love to march into a commanding 4-1 lead.

Murray would force a break point when his lower-ranked opponent served for the set, but Thiem took the attack to the Scot and his mentality reaped rewards.

Murray sent a backhand pass into the net as Thiem took the first set at the second attempt, but the world number four marched into a 3-0 lead at the start of the second.

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Thiem battled hard but was outclassed by Murray

Thiem, though, showed no sign of abandoning his big-hitting instincts and, as Murray's first serve percentage dipped, took advantage to break back in the seventh game.

Yet having worked hard to level the set at 4-4, Thiem then promptly lost it after a couple of unforced errors allowed Murray to take the match to a third set.

The two-time grand slam champion had the bit between the teeth and some disciplined play allowed him to break Thiem in the fourth game, which seemed to end the youngster's resistance once and for all.

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Berdych saw off Juan Monaco to set-up the semi-final clash

Murray broke again en route to winning the last five games and seal victory in one and three-quarter hours.

Murray, who paid tribute to Thiem, did not feel he was below-par in the first set but was relieved he was able to raise his performance levels thereafter.

"He's such a powerful guy. When he's dictating points and inside the court, you end up doing a lot of running. It's tough," Murray told Sky Sports 1.

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Murray and Berdych's Australia Open clash proved to be a fiery one

"I felt like in the first set, I actually played decent. I played a bad game on my serve to get broken, but apart from that I was actually hitting the ball quite well. I was just not returning well enough when I needed to.

"I managed to get a few more returns in play at the end of the second set and in the third I was a lot more confident on my return, especially on the first serve, and that made a huge difference."

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Sears was caught up in an expletive-ridden rant during Murray's win over Berdych

The match against Berdych sees a repeat of their semi-final encounter at the Australian Open earlier this year, when the fiery matters on court spread off them as Murray's fiancée Kim Sears was caught up in a foul-mouthed outburst towards his opponents camp.

PA

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