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Andy Murray trashes Gael Monfils to reach semis

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-12-10

Britain's Andy Murray, who is playing some of his best tennis of the season, rolled over his French opponent, Gael Monfils, 6-2 6-2 to reach the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters on Friday. He will face Roger Federer.

Andy Murray and Roger Federer set-up a re-run of last month's US Open final as they ploughed to straight set victories on Friday at the Madrid Masters.

Losing New York finalist Murray led the way with his 6-2, 6-2 thrashing of Frenchman Gael Monfils, with second seed Federer storming past rising Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3, 6-3.

"I served well and didn't get broken so I'm happy with my game at the moment," said the Swiss who is playing this week after a three-week break from the game in order to rest.

"I did well and chose the right tactics."

Murray and Federer stand 2-2 in their series, with the Scottish youngster winning in Dubai and Federer lifting his 13th Grand Slam singles title at Flushing Meadows in their second meeting this season.

Murray has reached his fourth semi-final of his last five events.

Since Wimbledon, the world number four has played his way into the last four at every event he's entered save the Beijing Olympics, where he lost in the first round.

"I've done very well since the summer but it's not a given that I'll always make it to the weekend," said Murray. "But I've had a good season."

"In other years, the points I have would have been good enough for number two in the world. It just that we have the best two top guys ever and (Novak) Djokovic has been playing very consistently in front of me (on third in the rankings).

"I just want to try and keep my form for the big events," said the winner of the previous Masters in Cincinnati last August.

Murray said he relishes another chance at Federer.

"I'm not putting a whole lump of pressure on myself to win every time, I'm just going out and playing well because of that," he said after standing 46-14 with three titles in 2008.

"Playing against Federer is always a great challenge, I've played well against him in the past, apart from at the US Open, which wasn't so good. I'll definitely be much more relaxed tomorrow than in New York.

"To have to play Federer in my first Slam final, is not the best way to go up against him. But here I've had quick matches and he's probably going to have a tough one today and hopefully tomorrow, I'll play better."

Federer saved the only break point he faced in 1hr 28min while breaking Del Potro three times.

The Swiss now stands 3-0 after beating the South American twice in 2007.

Murray improved to 2-1 over Monfils, coached by Lleyton Hewitt's former mentor Roger Rasheed who has instilled training discipline into the free-spirited French youngster.

But the new regime was not enough to make a difference on the day, with Monfils ending on a double-fault, his 31st unforced error of a 67-minute afternoon.

Murray struck 17 winners and 19 errors, breaking on six of his 11 chances.

The loss left Monfils adrift as he aims for a long-odds place in the eight-man season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai, standing 14th with two weeks of ATP play remaining.

Murray has already qualified along with Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic with four spots still open.


Date created : 2008-10-17