Tomas Berdych ended Andy Murray’s hopes at the Mutua Madrid Open with a 7-6 (7/3) 6-4 win in last night’s quarter-final.
Murray led by a break in the opening set but lost it on a tiebreak and was unable to replicate Thursday night’s comeback against Gilles Simon.
Berdych will face the winner of the last quarter-final, between Stanislas Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while the beaten Murray at least has the consolation of supplanting Roger Federer as world No 2. Murray took his second break point of the set to lead 4-3 but was immediately broken back as a feeble lob gave Berdych an easy drop-volley at the net.
The set proceeded to a tie-break, in which Berdych won an early point against the serve to lead 2-0. He extended that lead to 6-2 with some powerful strokes and though Murray pulled a point back, he then sent a backhand wide as Berdych wrapped up the set.
Berdych broke to love in the fifth game of the set, part of a run of 11 straight points and, as the clock ticked over the two-hour mark, Berdych was in the process of serving for a place in the last four. Two match points duly arrived, with Murray looking aggrieved and weary, and only one was required as the Scot sent a forehand into the tramline.
Earlier, Rafael Nadal fought back to beat David Ferrer 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-0 to reach a seventh straight semi-final since returning from a knee injury.
In the women’s event, top-ranked Serena Williams struggled past Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3, 0-6, 7-5, and second seed Maria Sharapova joined her in the semi-finals after easing by Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-4.