14
May
11

It would be ironic if Andy Murray becomes the first man to beat Novak Djokovic in 2011 when the pair clash in the semi-finals of the Rome Masters.

Murray, who turns 24 on Sunday, is again talking about becoming number one in the world, but faces a stiff challenge against the man most likely to succeed Rafael Nadal at the top of the rankings. The British number one earned the right to take on Djokovic in the Italian capital after knocking out Germany’s Florian Mayer in three sets. The tussle with Djokovic will be Murray’s second semi-final on clay already this season, and also a rematch after his defeat to the Serbian in the Australian Open final at the start of the year. Murray has struggled on clay in the past but has invested extra effort this season to improve his all-court performance. Before this year, he had won just two of his seven matches in Rome.

“I struggle a little bit and at this tournament particularly in the past,” Murray said. “I’ve had some good wins and I feel more comfortable than I did in the past and yes, I want to be playing at the latter stages of these events and if I want to get to number one in the world then you need to play well on all of the surfaces because Roger (Federer), Rafa (Nadal) and Novak play well on all the courts. “I need to improve my game on the surface and it’s been better this year.”

Murray has now gone further than Tim Henman or Greg Rusedski ever managed in Rome, and indeed is the first British man since 1932 to reach the semi-finals of the tournament.

 

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