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Tennis: Murray to play Nadal in Madrid semi-finals
[MADRID] Andy Murray and 14 times grand slam winner Rafael Nadal will meet in the last four of the Madrid Open on Saturday in a repeat of last year's final won by the Scot.
World number two Mr Murray blasted past eighth seeded Czech Tomas Berdych 6-3 6-2 in their quarter-final while Mr Nadal had a harder task on home clay in seeing off Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-0 4-6 6-3.
The roof had to be closed on both matches at the 'Caja Magica' due to rain.
"We know each other very well," said Mr Nadal, who has won his last two meetings with Murray with the most recent victory coming in the Monte Carlo semis three weeks ago.
"It's a question of playing my best, and if I am playing my best I hope to have my chances. If not, it will be almost impossible."
Mr Murray took 76 minutes to beat Mr Berdych, winning 92 per cent of his first service points and with no break points against him. "It was different conditions playing under the roof," he said.
"I've only played maybe three or four indoor clay matches in my life." Mr Nadal dominated the first set, with Mr Sousa taking 37 minutes to win a game when he made it 1-1 in the second before a 10-minute rain delay as the roof was closed.
With Real Madrid's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo watching, Mr Sousa saved three break points in the sixth game and then broke Mr Nadal in the 10th to take the set.
"The ball was a little bit heavier," said Mr Nadal. "I missed a few good opportunities. I had to suffer. I had to fight back and look for a solution. I managed to find a solution and solve it."