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By Britwatch Team

  • Andy Murray defeats David Goffin 6-1, 7-5
  • He will face Lucas Pouille in the semi finals

ROME, ITALY- Andy Murray set up a semi final clash with Lucas Pouille after defeating Goffin in straight sets in the Italian Open on Friday.

The Brit rallied through the windy conditions to defeat the Belgian 6-1, 7-5 in one hour and 38 minutes.

“The conditions are extremely difficult,” said Murray post match via BBC Sport.

“The wind is swirling and changing direction in between points. Also there’s no clay on the court either.

“Sometimes when they put clay on in between games it’s slow, but two points later its all blown off and it’s like playing on a hard court.

“It was obviously difficult, challenging and frustrating conditions. It’s difficult to play great tennis.”

The Scot was broken in the opening game of the match but won the next six to claim the opening set 6-1. The second was much tighter and full of breaks of serve. Goffin drew first blood but was broken straight back by Murray. After the second seed held for 3-3 there proceeded to be five straight breaks with Murray unable to serve out the match at the first time of asking. At 6-5 however, he made no mistake closing it out to advance to the final four of the Italian Open.

His opponent in the final four will be lucky loser, Pouille. The Frenchman lost in qualifying but got into the main draw after compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga withdrew due to injury. Pouille took advantage of his spot and made his first ATP Masters semi final, defeating Earnest Gulbis, David Ferrer and receiving a walkover in the quarter finals after Juan Monaco withdrew.

“There are not many things to say except that I’m lucky this week,” admitted Pouille via BBC Sport.

“I should not be here, I lost in qualifying and I’m in the semi-final. I’m very lucky and I cross my fingers it stays that way.”

The 22 year old has quickly started rising up the ranks this year with a string of impressive results. His forehand  in particular has proved to be a dangerous weapon, and despite being ranked 50 places below Murray, the 28 year old is not taking him lightly.

“He beat Goffin last week in Madrid and Richard Gasquet in Monte Carlo. This week, he’s been a bit fortunate, but he’s very good. I don’t expect it to be easy.” Said Murray via BBC Sport.

Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal 7-5, 7-6(4) to book his place in the last four. In an almost tour and a half hour match, the Serb saved five set points in the second set before going on to win the tiebreaker. Djokovic will now face either Kei Nishikori or Dominic Thiem in the semi finals.

Pouille and Murray are due on court at 13:00 BST on Saturday

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