Murray sets up Ancic clash

Andy Murray will face Mario Ancic for a place in the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam tomorrow after Marc Gicquel retired in the third set of their quarter-final.

The British number one took the first set on a tie-break but Gicquel, ranked 55 in the world, levelled impressively only to succumb to a thigh injury with the score at 7-6 (7/2) 4-6 3-0.



Murray was decidedly out of sorts in his narrow victory over Andreas Seppi yesterday but from the first rally today his timing was much improved.



Gicquel, 31, is something of a late developer, having only broken into the top 100 for the first time in 2006 when he was 29.



But he is a solid player and his serving was particularly impressive in the opening stages of the quarter-final.



Gicquel only earned his place in the main draw of the tournament as a lucky loser after Robin Soderling pulled out, but he certainly made the most of his second chance with wins over Evgeny Korolev and Paul-Henri Mathieu to reach the last eight.



The Frenchman adopted an aggressive strategy and was having some success coming to the net, taking Murray to deuce in the ninth game, but the Scot passed the test with flying colours.



The tie-break duly arrived after a largely uneventful first set and it was Murray, having had little success on the Gicquel serve thus far, who took the first mini-break when a volley from the Frenchman drifted just long.



The Scot cemented the break to move into a 4-1 lead and that swiftly became 5-1 before Murray wrapped up the tie-break 7-2.



Gicquel shrugged off that disappointment by rediscovering his impressive play at the start of the second set and forced a break point in Murray's opening service game - the first of the match.



The second seed was hitting the ball nicely but was struggling to get his first serve percentage above 50% - not that it mattered at 30-40 as Murray came up with a second-serve ace.



The British number one levelled at 1-1 and then finally created an opening on the Gicquel serve with a pinpoint return taking him to 15-40.



But a drop shot into the net from Murray allowed Gicquel to get back on terms and he saved two further break points before moving into a 2-1 lead.



Gicquel complained of a thigh problem after the seventh game and had it strapped up by the trainer.



It did not seem to affect him unduly, though, and more incisive attacking brought up a set point on the Murray serve at 4-5.



One of the longest rallies of the match ensued and it was the Scot who cracked first, mis-hitting a cross-court forehand well wide.



Having looked in control, Murray suddenly found himself in a decider but he took an immediate lead by finally breaking the Gicquel serve.



The Frenchman's movement was definitely being affected by his injury now and he let out a cry of pain stretching for a ball in the corner in the third game.



Murray took advantage to break again and Gicquel decided he could no longer carry on.



The British number one now goes on to face Ancic for the fifth time, with the big-serving Croatian, who beat Mikhail Youzhny earlier today, having won three of their previous meetings.



News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine