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Andy Murray sets up scrap with clay king Rafa in Madrid

By Paul Newman

Andy Murray will take on a resurgent Rafael Nadal on the Spaniard's favoured surface of clay for the second time in three weeks as he continues the defence of his Madrid Masters title today.

Murray, who pushed Nadal hard before losing in three sets in last month's Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals, booked his place in the last four with an emphatic 6-3 6-2 win over Tomas Berdych.

Nadal, who lost to Murray in last year's Madrid final, had a less straightforward passage to the last four as Portugal's Joao Sousa offered stern resistance before going down 6-0 4-6 6-3.

In the other semi-final, Kei Nishikori, a 6-7 7-6 6-3 victor over Nick Kyrgios, will meet the winner of the Novak Djokovic and Milos Raonic clash.

After a difficult 2015, Nadal has recovered much of his old form.

He won the titles in Monte Carlo and Barcelona and will go into his semi-final against Murray knowing that he has won 17 of their previous 23 meetings.

With the start of the French Open little more than a fortnight away, both men are looking in excellent shape for the climax to the clay-court season

Belfast Telegraph


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