ATP Cincinnati Semifinals: Andy Murray Breaks Through Mardy Fish

CINCINNATI -- Scottish No. 4 Andy Murray defeated top American (and No. 7) Mardy Fish 6-3, 7-6(8), to book a spot in his second career final of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Murray came out of the blocks far sharper than did Fish, breaking Fish in his second service game and not looking back. Fish hit 10 unforced errors off his forehand in the first set, compared to only five winners.

Despite the ease with which both men normally hold serve, the second set turned surprisingly break-ful. Fish was broken in the opening game of the set, but then broke Murray for the first time in the match the very next game. After each held for 2-2, the pair traded four consecutive breaks, then four consecutive holds to force a thrilling tiebreak, which Murray won 10-8.

As the second set wore on both players seemed bothered by injury, with Mardy Fish fiddling with the bruised heel that caused him to pull out of Washington, and Andy Murray rubbing his left hamstring. Fish seemed slightly hampered by his injury during play, while Murray moved as well as ever.

Fish was asked about the disparity between Murray's actions between points and performance during points after the match.

Q: When Andy's on the other side grabbing his hamstring between points acting injured, but the plays fantastic side to side shots, how does that affect you?

Mardy Fish: Not much. Look, it's deep into a tournament, deep into the year. Everybody's got something going on.

It's sort of a rope a dope type play, but it's not the first time I played him.

Murray did not bring up any specific physical ailments (including his leg) when he spoke after the match.

SBN: Your moods seemed to change as the second set wore on. You started off almost giggly (for you), and then shifted to screaming and your box a lot. Is that because the match is getting frustrating?

Andy Murray: I was struggling physically. That's frustrating for me, because that's something I haven't struggled with for quite a long time. When you're kind of in control of a match and then you start to physically get a little bit tired, it becomes frustrating, because rather than concentrating on just playing the match, which I was in the first set, you start thinking about the physical side, which you shouldn't really be having to.

So that's why I was getting frustrated. I'm glad I managed to finish it off in two sets.

SBN: Just fatigue, or something more specific?

Andy Murray: I don't know exactly what it was I felt. Like right now I don't feel that tired, I don't feel that drained. My legs just need to get stronger. I've not played that many matches at all since Wimbledon. I think it's just getting back to playing matches in these conditions at that intensity,

because the first set there was a lot of long rallies, long points.

Yeah, I thought it was a pretty intense match, especially the first set and towards the end.

Stay tuned to SB Nation's coverage of the 2011 US Open Series at as well as on Twitter, @DailyForehand .

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