Murray crushes Roddick to set up Tsonga date

Bhupathi-Paes storm into semifinals

Andy Murray celebrates his win over Andy Roddick on Saturday. AFP

World number four Murray was in dazzling form in a one-sided contest that was all over inside an hour. He will play Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France on Sunday after the fifth seed overcame unseeded Briton James Ward 6-3, 7-6 in the second semi.

Murray broke Roddick's first service game and the rest of the match resembled an exhibition from the Scot who looked in ominously good form with Wimbledon looming on the horizon. "Everything he touched turn to gold," the 28-year-old Roddick, who beat Murray on their last meeting in the 2009 Wimbledon semifinal, said.

Roddick, one of the best grasscourt players in the world with three Wimbledon finals on his CV, simply had no answer to the variety in Murray's game. Rarely can his fearsome serve have been dealt with so nonchalantly.

Murray appeared to have the ball on a string at times as he pulled Roddick this way and that before tempting the third seed into the net and then flicking away winners at will.

The 24-year-old Scot, now recovered from the ankle injury sustained during his run to the French Open semis, achieved a double break of serve as he galloped away with the second set.

With Roddick serving at 1-5, Murray thumped an unstoppable forehand return off a ferocious Roddick serve, prompting the American to quip "let's keep it social" across the net.

On match point Roddick dumped an attempted drop shot into the net and headed for Wimbledon, a little chastened but still encouraged with his preprations for the grasscourt grand slam.

On Friday, Rafael Nadal's batteries finally ran flat on Friday as the weary world number one bowed out to Tsonga in the quarterfinals.

The Spanish world number one, preparing to defend his Wimbledon title this month, went down 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 when the exertions of winning a record-equalling sixth French Open crown on Sunday caught up with him.

Murray, still shaking off the effects of an ankle injury, was given an unexpected day off as his quarterfinal opponent Marin Cilic withdrew with an ankle injury of his own shortly before they were due on court.

Tsonga will face British wildcard James Ward who continued a memorable week with two wins in one day.

First the 24-year-old won a final set shootout against defending champion Sam Querrey for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory after the match had been halted the previous night by bad light. The London cab driver's son, ranked 216 in the world, then returned to beat Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 despite squandering seven match points in the second set tiebreak.

Bhupathi-Paes in semis

Third seeds Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi advanced to the doubles semifinals after a hard-fought 6-4, 6-4 win over Filip Polasek and Igor Zelenay.

The Indians saved seven breakpoints in the second set and converted one, which proved decisive in their victory in the euro 694,250 ATP event in the run-up to the Wimbledon.
They will next face winner of the the quarterfinal match between the pairs of Robert Lindstedt/Horia Tecau and Max Mirnyi/Daniel Nestor.

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