Nadal looks to bring Playstation triumphs over Murray to life

Defending champion Rafael Nadal, having got the better of Andy Murray in PlayStation duels, aims a knockout blow at his friend's hopes of ending Britain's 75-year wait for a Wimbledon winner on Friday.

Updated: June 30, 2011 07:32 IST
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London: Defending champion Rafael Nadal, having got the better of Andy Murray in PlayStation duels, aims a knockout blow at his friend's hopes of ending Britain's 75-year wait for a Wimbledon winner on Friday. (Related:Nadal sets up semi-final clash with Murray | Nadal sorry to see Federer Wimbledon exit)

The world number one Spaniard takes an imposing 11-4 record over the fourth seed into their semi-final, a repeat of the clash at the same stage last year which he won in straight sets.

Nadal, chasing an 11th Grand Slam title, also got the better of Murray in the French Open semi-finals four weeks ago in straight sets before he went on to wrap up a sixth Roland Garros crown.

But Nadal, who is taking painkillers to numb the pain in the left foot injury he suffered in his fourth round win over Juan Martin del Potro, will not under-estimate Murray.

"Last year I beat him in the semi-finals, but it was a very close match, even if it was in straight sets. In the second set he had a set point with his serve," recalled Nadal.

"The match will be very difficult for me. I think he's playing at a very, very high level. For me, the last few months of Andy have been very, very good. It'll be a big challenge."

Nadal insists that he is not concerned by his injury, but admitted that he is driven by a sense of occasion as he eyes a third Wimbledon title to add to his 2008 and 2010 triumphs.

"My foot is not fine. But we are in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. It's an emergency, so I had to play," Nadal said.

Murray has looked in fine form in his last two rounds, enjoying straight sets wins over France's Richard Gasquet and Spanish serve-and-volleyer Feliciano Lopez.

The Scot light-heartedly dismissed Nadal's success at PlayStation as being due to his playing partner, tour pro Juan Monaco.

But he sincerely believes that having successfully reached his third successive semi-final at the All England Club that this could be his year.

"I believe I can win against him. I had chances last year. I was up a break in the third set and had break point on my serve in the second set," recalled Murray, who will be playing in his seventh Grand Slam semi-final.

"But I just have to have a better game plan. Sometimes it comes down to strategy. Sometimes it comes down to having more experience. I just have to go out there and play well and serve well."

In Friday's other semi-final, second seed Novak Djokovic, a semi-finalist in 2007 and 2010, tackles French 12th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the man who sent six-time champion Roger Federer to a landmark defeat in the quarter-finals.

Djokovic, the Australian Open champion, has lost just once in his last 49 matches, a run stretching back to Serbia's Davis Cup triumph in December.

But the 24-year-old Serb has a losing record against the 26-year-old Tsonga, having only won two of the pair's seven meetings.

Djokovic is wary of the danger posed by the swashbuckling Frenchman who served so consistently against Federer in his astonishing 3-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory.

After being broken just once, in the second game of the match, Federer was unable to carve out a single break point in the remainder of the tie as he slipped to his first ever Grand Slam defeat when having been two sets to love up.

"He served really well. Tsonga was not under pressure," said Djokovic.

"He's been playing great in the grass court season. He played really well at Queen's, and now he's been winning against top players. He's very dangerous."

Tsonga, who was a quarter-finalist last year, defeated Djokovic the last time they met in the last eight of the Australian Open in 2010.

The French player now believes he can win a first Grand Slam.

"Why not?," he said, before explaining cryptically where he inspiration for his win over Federer came from.

"From France, from the Congo, from my family, from my house, from everywhere. From here. That's it."

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