Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Battling Murray seals date with Nadal

Andy Murray completed a battling second-set comeback to see off eighth seed Nikolay Davydenko and seal a place in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters.

Playing his second match of the day having beaten Fabio Fognini 7-6 6-4 yesterday morning in a rain-affected clash, Murray fought back from 4-1 down in the second set to win it 6-4, having clinched the first set 7-6 (7/1).

The fourth seed was not at his best and struggled with his first serve throughout, but a combination of patient rallying and Davydenko imploding gave him victory.

With the first set having gone with serve to 6-6, Murray forced Davydenko into a number of unforced errors to drop a solitary point in the tie-break.

Murray lost his first service game of the second set but he immediately broke back, again forcing Davydenko to make errors.

His work was undone when he was broken a second consecutive time to go 3-1 down, his attempted drop shot drifting wide on break point. The Scot then blasted wide to give Davydenko a 4-1 lead but he held his own serve and broke the Russian's with some patient rallying from the back of the court.

Having held serve to level, Murray had two break points but was pegged back to deuce. It was only a brief reprieve, however, as Davydenko planted two straightforward backhands into the net to put Murray within touching distance of victory. The Russian took Murray to deuce in the 10th game but sent two forehands long to give Murray a last-four clash with Rafael Nadal.

Murray said: "It's been a long couple of days and I'm very happy to come through it."

Of his clash with Nadal, he added: "There'll be a lot of expectation on me but it's great experience for me to learn a lot from playing the top guys. I will learn a lot about how they play on clay."

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