Murray storms into semis

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iol spt jan23 Murray Andy Reuters Andy Murray produced his best performance of the tournament against Jeremy Chardy to reach the Australian Open semifinals. Photo by: Toby Melville

Melbourne – Andy Murray produced his best performance of the tournament against Jeremy Chardy to reach the Australian Open semifinals for the fourth consecutive year on Wednesday.

The British third seed was too strong for the unseeded Frenchman winning 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in 1hr 51min on Rod Laver Arena, and will now face either Roger Federer or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-final on Friday.

Murray broke Chardy's service eight times and played a clean match with 32 winners against 20 unforced errors.

It took the Scot's winning streak at the majors to 12 since his breakthrough US Open triumph in New York last September, and put him into his 12th Grand Slam semi-final.

“Today was the best I've played. I've struggled in my last few rounds a little bit, my last opponent (Gilles Simon) was injured so it wasn't much of a match as he struggled physically,” Murray said.

“Jeremy's had a great tournament, he's beat some top players so I needed to come out sharp and get off to a good start.

“I had to defend a lot today, the breeze is right in your face at one end of the court, so that's why you do all the work in the off-season to try and chase down as many balls as possible.”

Murray, who took his record to Chardy to 5-1, has only spent 8h 56min on court in total for his five matches at this year's Open and he faces a potential semi-final against 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who beat him in last year's Wimbledon final.

Murray broke Chardy's opening two service games, before dropping his own in the sixth, and claimed the opening set on his third set point in 44 minutes.

He got stronger as the match progressed as Chardy began to fade and he broke the Frenchman's serve three times to stroll through the second set in 32 minutes.

Murray got two more service breaks to lead 5-1 in the final set, but was broken as he attempted to serve out for the match.

His victory was clinched in Chardy's next service game, winning it on his first match point. Chardy beat former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro and 21st seed Andreas Seppi on his way to the quarterfinals. – Sapa-AFP

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