Murray storms into Shanghai semis

Saturday, October 16, 2010
Britain's Andy Murray swept past Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to reach the semi-finals of the Shanghai Masters.

Murray broke twice in both the first and second sets and dominated throughout, winning 6-2 6-2.
The Scot, 23, will next face Argentine Juan Monaco, who beat Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-7 (6-8) 7-5 6-2.
In the other half of the draw, Roger Federer will take on Novak Djokovic in a repeat of their US Open semi-final.

Serbia's Djokovic, ranked second in the world, eased past in-form Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-2 6-3 to reach the last four.

But Federer was, if anything, even more impressive as he destroyed Robin Soderling 6-1 6-1 to set up the chance of revenge for that defeat by Djokovic at Flushing Meadows.
"I know he didn't have some of his best days," said the winner.

"But it was important to take advantage of it. You would figure a top five player like Robin finds a way at some stage during the match to crawl back into the match, but he wasn't able to.

"Tomorrow is going to be a bit more tactical. Novak and I always had good matches against each other, especially on the hard courts."

In Friday's opening match, Murray gave further evidence that his form is returning after the slump that followed his early US Open exit last month.

After straightforward wins over Yan Bai and Jeremy Chardy, Tsonga looked like he would provide Murray with his first serious test in Shanghai, but the Frenchman was never in the contest.

Tsonga was playing only his fifth match since losing to Murray in the Wimbeldon quarter-finals because of injury and he had the misfortune to run out of gas just as Murray appears to be rediscovering his confidence.
The Briton won the first two points of the match on the Tsonga serve and that set the tone for what followed, with Murray making the first breakthrough in game three thanks in part to a beautiful forehand winner, and in part to the Frenchman's first double-fault of the day.

With the Scot's serve working well from the outset there was no sign whatsoever of the advantage being thrown away, and indeed it was extended in game seven when Murray broke for the second time - once again to love.

Tsonga had the look of a man who knew the game was up by the time the first set had disappeared and his third double-fault of the day contributed to another dropped service game at the start of the second set, and it was the same story as he slipped 5-2 down.

Murray gave the merest hint of the jitters as he fell 0-30 behind when trying to close out the match but extinguished the danger with some heavy serving and converted his second match point to win in just 54 minutes.

"That was good, I served really well," said Murray afterwards. "Jo was struggling a bit on his serve and wasn't serving as big as normal, so I was able to get into the return games.

"It was a good performance, I hit the ball really well and the surface here is good for me."
And the Briton enjoyed playing under the open stadium roof after four days of rain.

"It was nice today, good conditions, there was no wind," said Murray. "The sun had gone as well. Normally, those are the two things that make playing outdoors a little bit trickier.

"I got used to the conditions pretty quickly. It was a little bit different when the roof's closed, but it didn't really affect me today."


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