2010 Australian Open – Murray into Semi Finals

Andy Murray produced a vintage 2 set performance before defending Australian Open champion Rafael Nadal was forced to retire hurt with a right-knee injury in the third set of their quarter final match.

Murray led 6-3 7-6(7-2) 3-0 when Nadal called time on the match – The Spaniard had not shown any sign of injury during the first two sets as he and Murray produced two of the best sets of tennis of the 2010 Australian Open.

In each of the completed sets Murray was forced to break back after the Spaniard took early command in each set. In the first set Nadal broke to lead to 2-1 before Murray broke back with unbelievable lob and then powered on to break again and lead 5-2. Murray held serve to win it 6-3 on his third set point.

The second set was a disjointed affair with score on serve with Nadal leading 3-2, a scheduled Australia day fireworks display caused a 10-minute halt to the match, on return Murray looked to have lost focus with Nadal breaking on their return to lead 4-2. Murray though would break back immediately to level the set again. Murray was a couple of points away from losing the set, but it was the Scot who had the best chances to secure a second break, with 4 break points with score level at 5-5.

Murray failed to convert those points and the set went to a tie break – a faultless tiebreak performance would see the Scot win 7-3 and take a two sets to love lead.

Even though the duo did not complete the match it was Murray’s longest match of the tournament so far (almost 3 hours) giving you insight as to how competitive the match was. Only after Nadal called for the trainer during the second game of the third set did the watching audience have a clue that Rafa’s long standing knee injury may be recurring.

Murray will now face Marin Cilic who beat Andy roddick in a 5 set epic earlier in the day. After the match Murray once again spoke to Jim Courier on court,

I’ve known Rafa since I was 13 or 14 and he is someone I always looked up to when I came up through the juniors, he is my favourite player to watch with his energy and I am a bit gutted for him. I had to come through a few tough moments at the start of the match when I was going for it a bit too much but I played really well.

I had to go for my shots and play big tennis and when the big points come you have got to try to keep them short. You do not want to play long points against Rafa – I served and volley a little bit and everything went well.