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Berdych Ends Murray's Winning Streak; Faces Federer Or Monaco In SFs

Paris, France

Berdych© AFP/Getty ImagesTomas Berdych has qualified for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the second straight year.

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych, the 2005 champion, ended Andy Murray's 17-match winning streak on Friday at the BNP Paribas Masters by beating the second seed and fellow Barclays ATP World Tour Finals qualifier 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.

Berdych, who clinched his berth at prestigious season finale in London on Thursday, will challenge third seed Roger Federer in the semi-finals.

"It was really one of the best three set matches I [have] played, even with the quality," said Berdych. "All three sets [were] very close. I'm the happier one today. But I think it was just a great game."

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Berdych saved seven set points at 3-5 to win a 14-minute game, before Murray converted his ninth set point opportunity with a crosscourt forehand, which Berdych couldn't scramble back, to wrap up the first set in 63 minutes. Murray saved all five break points he faced.

Berdych kept the pressure on Murray in the second set and almost took a 4-0 lead. The Czech served for the set at 5-3, but Murray broke to 30 and went onto level for 5-5. In the tie-break, Berdych converted his first set point opportunity at 6-5 for one-set apiece.

The third set went with serve to 4-4, when Berdych broke Murray to 15. Murray could have levelled at 5-5, but could not convert three break point opportunities. Berdych earned his 51st match win of the season on his second match point chance after three hours and 13 minutes of play.

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The 26-year-old Berdych has a 51-20 match record on the season, which includes a 4-6 mark against Top 10 opponents. Last month he won the China Open title (d. Cilic) in Beijing.

Murray, 24, is bidding to finish the year at No. 3 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings for the first time. He drops to 56-12 season record. He has won five titles, including two ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati (d. Djokovic) and the Shanghai Rolex Masters (d. Ferrer).

"I got good practice going into London, which I didn't have coming in here," said Murray. "I'll need to work on a few things. I was moving much better than I did in my first match by the end of this one.

"I was really unhappy with the way I hit my backhand today, which is normally my most solid shot, so that's something I'll look to work on. I didn't feel all that comfortable on my serve this week, even though I didn't get broken the first couple of matches."

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