Off-colour Murray battles back to reach semi-finals


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The Independent Online

Andy Murray made it through to the semi-finals of the Miami Masters with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over Janko Tipsarevic last night. But it was far from easy as the Scot battled illness in a lengthy match.

The British No 1 lost the first set 6-4, with several unforced errors proving costly after he led 4-2. Murray was broken in the first game of the second set, at which point the Scot complained to his trainer Jez Green that he was struggling to keep fluids down.

No time-out was needed, and Murray looked more like his old self the longer the set progressed, winning it 6-3 to level the match. Murray broke Tipsarevic in the third game of the final set to establish a 2-1 lead, with the Serbian calling for the trainer immediately after as he received treatment to his feet.

A sloppy mistake from Murray prolonged the sixth game, but he eventually took it to go 4-2 up. However, Tipsarevic was not willing to lie down, and forced Murray all the way to break point before finally conceding the eighth. From there, the Scot took advantage of a tiring opponent to force his way through a hard-fourth match.

In the semi-finals he will face either against Rafa Nadal or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who were playing later last night.

Murray was broken in the first match of the day by the ninth seed, but he immediately broke back and held serve. The contest went with serve until the sixth game, when Murray broke to establish control of the first set. There was no indication of the struggles to follow for him at this point in the contest.

However, Tipsarevic immediately broke back and held serve to square things up at 4-4, before breaking in the ninth game. An ace gave the Serb two set points and he repeated the feat with the next point to land the set in 53 minutes.

Things failed to improve for Murray as the world No 4 was broken in the first game of the second set, prompting him to seek medical advice. Tipsarevic held serve to win a sixth successive game, before Murray stopped the rot in the third game.

He broke his opponent in the fourth game to level, but the topsy-turvy nature of the contest continued when Tipsarevic took the second of two break points to go 3-2 ahead.

Murray broke back immediately to love and take his run of points on Tipsarevic's serve to seven in a row, then held serve and broke again. The Scot took the first of two set points to make sure the match went the distance.

In the women's event, Venus Williams's comeback from an energy-sapping illness ended with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat to Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.