By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray defeats Milos Raonic 6-2, 6-0 to reach the semi finals in Monte Carlo
- He will play Rafael Nadal next
MONTE CARLO, MONACO- Andy Murray will face Rafael Nadal in the semi finals of the Monte Caro Rolex Masters after demolishing Milos Raonic on Friday.
The Brit only dropped two games to the big serving Canadian as he romped to a 6-2, 6-0 victory in an hour and eight minutes.
He will face Nadal in the last four after the Spaniard saw off fourth seed, Stan Wawrinka, in straight sets following Murray’s victory.
The world number two put on a far better performance than against Benoit Paire in the last round where he was lucky to advance. He needed nearly three hours to dispatch the Frenchman as he continued to struggle to adapt to the clay. This time though, the Scot was close to his best form.
“It’s the most challenging surface for me every year,” said Murray via BBC Sport.
“It normally takes me a few weeks to remember what I need to do, how to move, the way to build up the points and making sure you don’t rush.”
Murray performed very well on the return, nullifying the big serve of the Canadian and breaking him five times during the match. The first came at 2-1 in the opening set, and Murray was able to break again to secure the first 6-2- Raonic would not win another game. In what no doubt was the best Murray performance of the year, the Brit destroyed the tenth seed for a 6-0 second set without facing a break point.
“The two most important shots in tennis I did really well,” added Murray.
“I was getting a good read on the serve and, when he missed the first serve, I was being very offensive on the second serve return and putting him under pressure.
“The serve and the return for me were the best they’ve been for a while and I’m glad, because they weren’t so strong the last couple of matches.”
This victory puts Murray in fine form heading into the semi final against Nadal. The Spaniard holds a great record in Monte Carlo, winning his first 46 matches in the tournament and claiming eight titles
The 29 year old is looking in better form this week so the Brit will arguably go in as the underdog on this surface despite being the higher ranked player. Nadal needed only two sets to defeat Wawrinka 6-1, 6-4 in the quarter finals.
The Spaniard has a 16-6 head-to-head lead over the Brit, having defeated him in the semi-finals of this event in 2009 and 2011. However, Murray won their last clay court meeting in the final of the Madrid Masters last year.
In the days other action, Jo Wilfried Tsonga upset Roger Federer with a 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory. The Frenchman will meet Gael Monfils or Marcel Granollers in the other semi final.
Murray vs Nadal will take place on Saturday.
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