• Monte Carlo Masters

Murray outgunned by Berdych in Monte Carlo

ESPN staff
April 20, 2012

Andy Murray's new-found love of clay-court tennis faltered as he was well beaten by Tomas Berdych in his Monte Carlo Masters quarter-final.

Murray, who has made an impressive start to his French Open preparations, failed to reach the semi-finals after he was outmanoeuvred by a determined Berdych.

The sixth seed is likely to face top seed Novak Djokovic in the last four after he rallied from the disappointment of losing the opening set to claim a deserved 6-7(3) 6-2 6-3 victory.

Berdych was the better player for much of the opening set, forging seven break points, but was left to rue his inability to convert his chances as Murray took the tiebreak.

Murray, who was given an easy passage into the quarter-finals following the retirement of an injured Julien Benneteau, found himself under pressure on his serve as Berdych started confidently.

As both players traded rallies from the baseline, it was the Czech that made early inroads, bringing up two break points in the eighth game. Murray saved the first with an exquisite drop shot, and dodged the second after Berdych netted his return.

But the danger was not over, and Murray was forced to save a third break point after his attempted passing shot flashed wide after Berdych chased down his attempted drop. Murray found opportunities few and far between on Berdych's serve, and again it was the No. 6 seed that had the opening set in his sights with two set points on Murray's serve.

But he was unable to make the most of his chances, seeing four set points pass him by as Murray hung on to force a tiebreak. Although he could only watch in dismay as his attempted drop shot failed to float over the net on set point, Murray had two set further points to play with, and he wrapped up the tiebreak at the second time of asking.

Berdych may have considered himself unfortunate to find himself a set down, but he bounced back in impressive fashion to grab an early break, converting at the ninth attempt. Making inroads where he failed in the opening set, Berdych tightened his grip on the second set as he broke once again before serving to force a deciding set.

It was more of the same in the third as Berdych grabbed an early break, but three consecutive errors saw the Czech hand Murray a way back into the match as the world No. 4 converted his first break point.

But all his hard work was immediately undone; Murray smashing his racket in frustration after missing a risky overhead shot as Berdych broke straight back before consolidating his lead with a confident hold of serve.

Try as he might, Murray was unable to find a way back into the match, and he was broken once again as Berdych wrapped up a hard-earned victory. He is seeded to face world No. 1 Djokovic in the semi-finals, providing the top seed comes through his quarter-final against Dutchman Robin Haase unscathed.

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