Murray Rallies to Reach SFs; Karlovic Advances

August 1, 2008 08:30 AM

No. 8 seed Andy Murray rallied to defeat 2002 Cincinnati champion Carlos Moya 2-6, 6-3, 6-1, and advance to his second straight ATP Masters Series semifinal.

The British No. 1, who lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the semis last week at the Rogers Masters in Toronto, dropped the opening set and was serving at 15-40, 0-2 in the second set before charging back. After holding, he broke Moya at 0-40 in the fourth and sixth games to change the momentum of the match. Moya held in the eighth game and had a break point on Murray's serve in the next game but the Brit hit an ace and went on to level the match.

In the third set, Murray took control by breaking in the first and third games as he cruised to his 20th match win on hard courts (20-6) this season and improved to 33-12 overall. The 21-year-old from Dunblane, Scotland will be appearing in his fifth career ATP Masters Series semifinal Saturday against No. 16 seed Ivo Karlovic.

Murray is the first British player to reach the semifinals in Cincinnati since Tim Henman in 2001. Henman also advanced to the final the previous year.

"I mean, to go two breaks down, a set and two breaks down, would have been tough to come back from," said Murray. "But, you know, it happens sometimes in tennis when you're feeling confident and you know your opponent hasn't maybe played as well as he can throughout the year. If you can kind of get yourself back into the match a few doubts can go through their mind. I don't know if that happened, but I definitely felt more confident once I held that game at 2-love."

Despite a 46 percent first serve mark, Murray fired 12 aces and won 83 percent of first serve points to Moya's 64 percent. He also won 51 percent of second serve points to the Spaniard's 29 percent.

Murray converted five of nine break points, all in the last two sets, while saving four of seven break points, in the one hour and 36-minute match.

Karlovic fired 24 aces and advanced to his first career ATP Masters Series semifinal with a 7-6(6), 7-6(3) win over unseeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The big-serving Croat never faced a break point in the one hour and 44-minute match and he came into Cincinnati with a 16-21 record in tie-breaks this year. But he's won all five this week, including two over World No. 1 Roger Federer on Thursday.

"Well, I mean, of course in a tiebreak it's most important to serve well and to use your chances," said Karlovic. "I was playing well actually this week, so I'm happy about that.

"It was important because I felt like I can win, that I have my chances, but I was trying not to put pressure on myself after yesterday's win."

Karlovic is the first Croat to reach the semifinals in Cincinnati since Nikki Pilic in 1973.