Tennis

Nadal storms into semis

2010-08-14 08:22
Rafael Nadal (AP)

Canada - Top seed Rafael Nadal won 10 points in a row late in the match to beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Friday and reach a Saturday semi-final against holder Andy Murray at the Toronto Masters.

Nadal, off the boil in the opening set, managed to right the ship by winning the second and taking the third thanks to a break in the seventh game against an opponent he has now defeated seven times.

Britain's Murray turned in an impressive performance to end the 11-match win streak of Argentina's David Nalbandian with a 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Murray called the victory perhaps his best effort of a season in which he has yet to lift a title after winning a leading six in 2009.

"It was very good, I served well today and got the first good hits in in a lot of the rallies," said Murray. "I was able to dictate a lot of the points.

"It was a very good performance. It was one of the best matches I've played this year."

In the evening session at the $2.43m ATP hard-court event, third seed Roger Federer will face a Wimbledon re-match with Czech Tomas Berdych, who upset him in the quarter-finals at the All England Club.

French outsider Jeremy Chardy faces world number two Novak Djokovic in another night quarter-final.

Murray had lost his previous two matches against the Nalbandian, who won last week's Washington trophy for his first ATP crown in 19 months.

"It definitely gives me confidence for the rest of the tournament and the rest of the US stretch," Murray said.

The fourth-seeded Scot had been unhappy with his play for months but showed signs of a recovery last month in Los Angeles, where he lost the final to Sam Querrey despite holding a match point.

Murray's game proved ultra-sharp from the start against Nalbandian, who came back a fortnight ago from three months away with a hamstring pull. In May 2009, he underwent hip surgery, missing the remainder of the season.

Nadal struggled to conclude his 50th match win of the season, passing that mark for a sixth straight year.

Kohlschreiber, who spent a recent practice week with Federer, fired 11 aces against four for Nadal, but could not find a first serve, a deadly error against the Spaniard.

Nadal has now defeated the German three times in 2009 and stands 34-1 since the second week of April.

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