• French Open

Murray: I've learnt my lessons against Nadal

ESPN staff
June 5, 2014
Andy Murray pushed Nadal all the way when they met in the quarter-finals in Rome © Getty Images

Andy Murray believes he can topple Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open if he applies the lessons learnt from their super-charged meeting at the Rome Masters.

Murray booked his spot in a British-record 14th grand slam semi-final after downing French hope Gael Monfils in five sets on Wednesday.

Tale of the tape

Rafael Nadal leads Andy Murray 14-5 head-to-head © Getty Images
  • Andy Murray v Rafael Nadal

  • 27 Age 28

    2005 Turned pro 2001

    6'3" Height 6'4"

    28 Career titles 63

    £18 million Prize money £37.5 million

    443/140 Won/lost 692/135

    5 Head-to-head 14

  • Last five meetings
  • 2014 Rome Masters - Nadal 1-6 6-3 7-5
  • 2012 Miami Masters - Murray w/o
  • 2011 Tokyo - Murray 3-6 6-2 6-0
  • 2011 US Open - Nadal 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2
  • 2011 Wimbledon - Nadal 5-7 6-2 6-2 6-4

The reward is a showdown with Nadal, the eight-time defending champion whose sole defeat in Paris came in 2009, and a shot at his first French Open final.

"It's definitely a big achievement, but that's not what I came here to do. My expectations are different to a lot of people," Murray said of his run to the semi-finals.

Murray has not won a title since his Wimbledon triumph in 2013 but has shown signs of his best form during the clay court season, particularly when he pushed Nadal all the way in the quarter-finals in Rome last month.

"I've learnt some stuff from that match," Murray told the official Roland Garros site.

"But I'm aware that it's going to be an extremely tough match - very hard physically and mentally. I'll need to rest up and recover, and get myself mentally prepared to play as best I can."

Nadal's clay court season has failed to measure up to the sky-high standards of previous years with the Spaniard collecting just the Madrid Masters title en route to the French Open, but Murray believes recent form will be irrelevant when the two step onto Court Phillippe Chatrier on Friday.

"I think he's played well at this tournament and that's what I kind of expected. He's had a great win against Ferrer, who's been playing very well himself, and he loves that centre court.

"I think I have a chance, but I'll have to play great tennis if I want to win."

For his part, Nadal expects nothing less from Murray after seeing off David Ferrer in a repeat of last year's final.

"He's playing good tennis on any surface, he's one of the best players in the world," Nadal said.

"In the semi-finals of Roland Garros you cannot expect an opponent who will be easy. Andy will be a big challenge for me."

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