By Ros Satar
- Andy Murray defeated Richard Gasquet 4-6 6-1 6-4 to book his place in his second successive Masters semi-final.
- Will go on to face Roger Federer in the semi-final for the first time since his defeat in the Wimbledon semi-final
CINCINNATI, USA – Andy Murray came through another tough three set encounter to book a spot in the Cincinnati Masters semi-final where he will face Roger Federer.
There is not just a shot at a Masters title at stake here, as we approach the business end of the elite players’ preparations for the US Open. Murray has a chance to hold off Federer for the all important No. 2 seeding, although the Swiss, who made routine work of his encounter with Feliciano Lopez, knows that experience will outweigh any advantage the seeding will offer.
Although admitting to feeling quite tired in his interview with Sky Sports in the UK, Murray has also stressed the importance of coming through battles like this from a set down, and playing from behind in deciding sets as the kind of character and reputation building that sends a message to players that maybe in the past felt they could take advantage.
“If the US Open was next week, yeah, then it would worry me. The good thing is that there is time after the event, you know, to have some light days.
“Played a lot of matches, a lot of late nights, as well, where my recovery hasn’t been perfect either. So I’m just happy I managed to fight through a lot of tough matches, difficult situations, and hopefully that will stand me in good stead for the US Open.”
Their current head to head puts Federer at 14-11, but more importantly his most recent win came during a time when Murray was struggling with both form and confidence after his back surgery at the end of 2013.
Federer said: “I’ve played him quite well recently. Hasn’t always been like that. He had a run of matches where was beating me maybe three, four times in a row. Wimbledon was a really good match of mine. I served great.
“I’m not going to expect myself to serve this well tomorrow, but I hope I can still play somewhat close to that. There will be more baseline rallies in my opinion, even though it’s going to be a day session match.
“That’s a switch for me going from three nights to a day now. The day plays much faster than the nighttime.”
On current form it is hard to see Murray prevailing in a simple and easy fashion. Any win he carves out will he earned in the toughest fashion possible. But from a confidence point of view, snapping his current four-match losing streak against Federer will do as much for his confidence as the win against Djokovic did last week.
Murray and Federer are scheduled second on Centre Court, not before 2:30pm (7:30pm BST).