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Berdych To Face Murray In Quarter-finals

Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Benneteau© Getty ImagesJulien Benneteau was forced to retire after injuring himself in a fall.

World No. 7 Tomas Berdych will face Andy Murray in the quarter-finals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters after overcoming Kei Nishikori on Thursday. The Czech player rallied from a set down to beat the 12th-seeded Nishikori 2-6, 6-2, 6-4.

After dropping serve twice to surrender the first set, Berdych hit back with three breaks of serve to record his first win in three meetings with Nishikori after two hours of play. The right-hander is bidding to reach the semi-finals at the Monte-Carlo Country Club for the second time following his effort in 2007 (l. to Nadal).

The 26-year-old Berdych, who won his seventh ATP World Tour title at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Monfils) in February, has a 21-5 match record on the season. The Czech leads Murray 3-2 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, though it was the Scot who won their most recent clash in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships two months ago.

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World No. 4 Murray was granted a place in the last eight when his opponent, Julien Benneteau of France, was forced to retire in their third-round match. With Murray serving at 5-5 30/0 in the first set, Benneteau slipped on court and injured his right ankle and right wrist; he was forced to concede two points later.

The 24-year-old Murray is looking to reach the semi-finals at this ATP World Tour Masters 1000 clay-court tournament for the third time in four years; he was beaten by Rafael Nadal at that stage in 2009 and 2011. He has never won a tour-level clay-court title.

Looking ahead to the clash with Berdych, Murray said, "[It will be] tough. Sometimes the match is kind of on his racquet a little bit because he has so much power. But if you can keep the ball to a good length, get him moving, which isn't the easiest thing to do, but if you can do that, that's where he's not so comfortable. So that's what you need to try and do against him."

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