Murray sweeps aside Ferrero

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray today stormed into the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time with a comprehensive victory over Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Murray spared the Centre Court crowd the nailbiting tension of his fourth-round win over Stanislas Wawrinka, a five-set epic which finished at 10:39pm under the new roof.



The 22-year-old Scot served 18 aces as he raced to a 7-5 6-3 6-2 quarter-final win in just an hour and 43 minutes, winning 11 of the next 13 games from 3-1 down in the second set.



"I'm very happy to come through in straight sets because I had a long one the round before," said Murray. "To get to the semi-finals for the first time is nice and I'll try my best to go further.



"There were quite a lot of errors from both of us at the start. I served very well but from the back of the court it was very very hot out there today and quick, so there were quite a few mistakes early in the match.



"Once I got the first set I started to settle down and I returned great at the end."



Murray will face either Andy Roddick or former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt in the last four on Friday, and added: "You try and focus on each match.



"A semi-final is something I've not experienced here before but at the US Open last year I played a semi-final against the number one in the world (Rafael Nadal). I'm going to have a tough match but I feel like I can win if I play well."



In sweltering sunshine, Murray began the match imperiously, holding his opening service game to love and rounding it off with an ace, and dropped just four points on serve throughout the set.



Ferrero, handed a wild card for this tournament after briefly dropping out of the world's top 100, saved a break point in the fourth game and then a set point in the 12th as he tried to force a tie-break, but Murray was not to be denied.



The 22-year-old Scot pounced on a weak second serve from Ferrero to smash a backhand cross-court winner, and took the set on his second set point thanks to a double fault from his opponent.



After such a dominant display on serve in the opening set, it was a major surprise when the British number one was broken at the start of the second.



Ferrero, cheered on by golf star Sergio Garcia from the players' box, produced a superb forehand passing shot when Murray made a rare visit to the net, and Murray then dumped a tame backhand into the net.



That helped the former world number one take a 3-1 lead, but Murray raised his game with devastating effect to break to love twice in succession, winning five games in succession to take another set.



From deuce at 3-1 down on his own serve, Murray had taken 18 of the next 19 points as Ferrero wilted under the pressure, and it looked like a place in the semi-finals was there for the taking for Murray.



Ferrero, who had been hoping to match Goran Ivanisevic by winning the title after entering on a wild card, finally stopped the rot by holding serve in the opening game of the third set.



But his body language did not suggest he was confident of producing the third comeback of his career from 2-0 down.



In contrast Murray was throwing himself around the court after apparently lost causes, almost ending up in the crowd as he chased a Ferrero smash.



Ferrero saved a break point in the third game and two more in his next service game before finally succumbing to the pressure, Murray moving the Spaniard around the court at will before firing a forehand winner down the line to take a 3-2 lead.



And that comprehensively signalled the end of the former French Open champion's resistance, Murray breaking him again to love as he stormed to a comprehensive win.



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