Millennium Post

Berdych routs Monfils, Andy Murray bows out

Berdych routs Monfils, Andy Murray bows out
Third seed Berdych will Saturday face Frenchman Gilles Simon, seeded eighth, who shocked top seed Andy Murray. Berdych has now reached his third ATP semifinal of the season after posting his fourth win from five meetings with quirky French player Monfils, a former world number seven now ranked 21st. Berdych landed on his wrist in the third game of the second set and had the trainer out to take a look before playing on without incident.

The Czech fired seven aces among his 32 winners during the 71-minute match, breaking on three of nine occasions and never facing a break point. Monfils, whose enthusiastic game can go and off the boil in an instant, saved a match point in the penultimate game before Berdych set up two more match-winners with a forehand cross-court.

The third seed advanced on the first chance, from a Monfils error. “It was a tough match and not as easy as the score showed,” said Berdych, a finalist at Doha and an Australian Open semifinalist last month.

Top seed Andy Murray slumped out of the Tournament on Friday after being outplayed 6-4, 6-2 in the quarterfinals by Frenchman Gilles Simon. Murray, playing in his first tournament since losing his fourth Australian Open final, was unusually profligate, committing numerous unforced errors from his usually rock-solid groundstrokes. The Scot slipped 5-1 behind in the first set before playing some of his best tennis to break back once, but eighth seed Simon held firm to take the opener in Rotterdam.

Simon continued to outmanoeuvre Murray in the second set and forged 4-0 ahead before the Briton again offered some stiff resistance, threatening to get back to 4-3.
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