April 2, 2015 / 3:14 AM / 4 years ago

Murray dumps Austria's Thiem to reach Miami semis

MIAMI (Reuters) - Third-seed Andy Murray recovered from an early setback to beat Austrian Dominic Thiem 3-6 6-4 6-1 on Wednesday to reach the semi-finals of the Miami Open where he will face Czech Tomas Berdych.

Andy Murray waves to the crowd after his match against Dominic Thiem (not pictured) on day ten of the Miami Open at Crandon Park Tennis Center. Murray won 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Eighth seed Berdych defeated Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3 6-4 in their quarter-final to set up a re-match of their tense and at times acrimonious Australian Open semi-final which Murray won in four sets.

Murray’s 501st career win was far from easy as the 21-year-old Thiem, ranked 52nd in the world, used an impressive backhand and some entertaining tennis to take the first set.

But after Murray, far from his best, forced a deciding set, he took firm control after earning a break at the end of a long fourth game to go up 3-1.

“At the beginning of the match I didn’t return well, especially returning his first serve. That put me in sort of a defensive position a lot when he was serving. I ended up doing quite a lot of running there,” said Murray.

“In the second set I went up and I was creating quite a lot of opportunities, which was good, but I was just not quite finding the right shot.

“I think in the third set the difference was really my returning. I returned his first serve extremely well. I put him on the back foot,” he said.

Thiem was philosophical about his loss.

“He won because he was the better player. It’s very simple. I played a very good first set of course but if I could keep at that level of the first set I wouldn’t be ranked 52nd I would be much higher.

“I played a little bit on my limit. Of course I am trying to work to make that my standard level.”

Monaco, backed by a large Argentine support, put up a strong fight in the second set until Berdych broke for a 5-4 lead.

“It was a very tough one, he played very fast and pushed me every ball. I am really happy I found a way through,” said the Czech.

Thursday’s other quarter-finals will see top seed Novak Djokovic up against Spain’s David Ferrer and Japan’s fourth-seeded Kei Nishikori against American John Isner.

Editing by Frank Pingue/Greg Stutchbury

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