Murray powers into semi-finals

Andy Murray admitted his quarter-final victory over defending Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal had left him feeling hollow after the Spaniard was forced to retire due to injury.

The 22-year-old Scot was already firmly on track to claim one of the most memorable victories of his career when the world number two called an end to the contest trailing 6-3 7-6 (7/2) 3-0.



Nadal suffered the injury during the closing stages of the second set and soon after calling for a trainer early in the third the left-hander decided he could not go on.



It brought a premature end to a contest that had, until Nadal's injury, captivated a capacity 15,000 crowd at the Rod Laver Arena.



Murray produced arguably the best tennis of his career as he twice fought back from a break down in the opening two sets to claim them before Nadal pulled out.



"I'm obviously disappointed that the match couldn't have finished as I would have liked," the fifth seed said.



"But with the position I was in I feel like I would have had a chance of going on to finish the match.



"You know, unfortunately that happens sometimes in sport. A win's a win.



"It was a very good performance. I won the big moments in the match. I thought I dictated a lot of what happened on the court."



Murray admitted he had not expected Nadal to retire despite the Spaniard calling for the trainer.



"It just all happened so sudden," he said. "There was one backhand in the following game he didn't quite run for.



"I didn't realise it was such a big problem.



"I was very surprised because I've seen Rafa play matches where he's obviously been in a lot of pain and discomfort and he's played on. It's a shame."



Murray identified his ability to break back immediately in both sets after going behind as crucial in his win -especially in the second set after the players had been forced to take a 10-minute break during a fireworks display to celebrate Australia Day.



"The first time (I broke back) was good. The second time was a lot more important," said Murray, who revealed the players has been warned before the match that they would take a break for the fireworks display.



"That break (for the fireworks) it's the first time I really had to do something like that.



"It was pretty cold on the court, as well. I tweaked my back a little bit on the first point of that game. He mis-hit a return when I was serving and volleying.



"You just get a little bit stiff. It was big for me to get that break back."



Nadal apologised to Murray after the match for his decision to retire.



The Spaniard admitted he was already a beaten man at that point and said he decided not to go on to prevent suffering long-term damage after knee tendinitis undermined his second half of the 2009 season.



"I felt the pain at the end of the second set and I felt a similar thing to what I had last year," the 23-year-old said.



"After that I can't go down so it was impossible to win the match.



"When I have the chance to play I never retired. But anyway I knew I was going to lose. I said sorry to Andy for that."



Murray will now play 14th seed Marin Cilic in the last four as he looks to reach his second grand slam final.



Cilic beat the Scot in straight sets when they last met at the US Open in September, but after tonight's performance Nadal is backing Murray to go through to the final.



"Andy played really well I think. I think he's at an unbelievable level," he said.



"His serve was unbelievable. When I had my chances with the breakpoints he always served big.



"I just have to congratulate him because he's doing really well, and I think he has a big chance to win this tournament."



Caption competition
Caption competition
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.

Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

The ZX Spectrum is back

The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

The quirks of work perks

From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

Is bridge becoming hip?

The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

The rise of Lego Clubs

How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
5 best running glasses

On your marks: 5 best running glasses

Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada