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Murray One Win Away From Becoming World No. 2

Montreal, Canada

Andy Murray© Getty ImagesDefending champion Andy Murray is looking for his fifth straight win against Roger Federer.

Third-seeded Scot Andy Murray is one match away from becoming the No. 2 player in the South African Airways 2009 ATP Rankings.

Murray, who will meet seventh-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Saturday afternoon, will take over the No. 2 ranking position with a win over the Frenchman. He would become the first player other than Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer to rank No. 2 since July 18, 2005. On that date, Lleyton Hewitt was No. 2 behind Federer. Murray, at No. 3 coming into this week, is already the highest-ranked British player in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973). By reaching the final, Murray would accumulate 8,850 points, surpassing Nadal’s total of 8,665.

The 22-year-old Scot struck nine aces to defeat eighth-seed Nikolay Davydenko in a 6-2, 6-4 win in 82 minutes on Friday in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal, the sixth ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament of the season. Murray is now 5-4 lifetime against the Russian. Murray is making his third appearance in the semi-finals in the past four years, reaching that round in Toronto in 2006 (l. to Gasquet) and last year (l. to Nadal). He is 11-3 overall on Canadian soil.

“I did what I had to do,” admitted Murray, who has only dropped his serve once in 26 games this week. “Every time I've played against him, you never feel like you're playing your best tennis because he takes the ball so early. He rushes you. I had my game plan and I did it really, really well in terms of the way I struck the ball.”

Davydenko was appearing in his eighth quarter-final (or better) and was on a 12-match winning streak. The 28-year-old Russian has won ATP World Tour titles at the International German Open in Hamburg (d. Mathieu) and ATP Studena Croatia Open in Umag (d. Ferrero), and has a 32-9 season record.

Murray, who is competing in his first tournament since reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals (l. to Roddick) last month, has amassed a 48-8 season record (29-2 on hard courts) and reaped four ATP World Tour titles at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha (d. Roddick), the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam (d. Nadal), the Sony Ericcson Open in Miami (d. Djokovic) and the AEGON Championships in London (d. Blake).

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