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Berdych Beats Murray, Eyes Second Straight Madrid Final

Madrid, Spain

Berdych © Mutua Madrid OpenTomas Berdych is looking to reach the Madrid final for a second time.

Czech Tomas Berdych will look to reach the Mutua Madrid Open final for a second straight year after knocking out World No. 3 Andy Murray 7-6(3), 6-4 in quarter-final action Friday night. He faces Stanislas Wawrinka in the semi-finals, after the Swiss won a tough battle against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-7(9), 6-4.

Berdych took the 5-4 edge in the FedEx ATP Head2Head series against the British No. 1, improving to a 3-0 mark in matches played on clay. He also broke their tie in career matches won, with 402 to Murray's 401. Both players had joined the 400 match wins club with their opening victories this week in Madrid.

Though Murray took the first break of the match to go up 4-3, Berdych hit back in the next game before winning the tie-break. After trading breaks to start the second set, the World No. 6 broke Murray at love to go up 3-2 and closed out the victory in just over two hours. 

"I was able to turn the first set on my side, which was very important," said Berdych. "I'm really happy for that. With him it's never easy. Even that we played two sets, it was really long two sets. You really have to fight a lot for a small chance."

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Despite the loss, Murray drew positives from his performance in Madrid. "This week was better than Monte-Carlo, so it's going in the right direction," he said. "Tomas is a very good clay court player, and it was a close match. I had my chances. 

"I think I'm playing okay. Some things I would like to do better, but I did play very well in practice in the buildup to this tournament. I played a lot of sets with a lot of tough players and I played very well." 

Wawrinka posted his first win on clay over Tsonga since 2011, lifting his FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the French No. 1. to 2-3.

The Swiss right-hander took the opening set in 30 minutes, but was unable to close out the match in straight sets as Tsonga saved three match points in the deciding tie-break.

"The tie-break was really tough because I had some [opportunities] to play really well, but at the end I was just trying to push myself mentally to stay in the match and [trying] to push him physically [so] that maybe he would give me some [opportunities] to break him," said Wawrinka. 

Though both players fought hard for the decisive third set, it was Wawrinka who converted his second of two break points, earning him the victory.

With Murray's loss, Rafael Nadal remains the last of the Big Four standing in Madrid. When Nadal, Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer contest the same tournament, they have won 26 straight titles going back to Rome 2010. Berdych lost to Federer in last year's final.

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