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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Murray secures final spot

AEGON Championship - Day Six

Andy Murray reached the final of AEGON Championships after a one-sided victory over Spain's Juan Carlos Ferrero at Queen's.

It took Murray, bidding to become the first British winner of the tournament since Bunny Austin's triumph in 1938, just 71 minutes to see off Ferrero 6-2 6-4.

The 22-year-old became the first British finalist in the tournament since Tim Henman seven years ago and faces either Andy Roddick or James Blake in the final on Sunday.

"I'm very happy with the way I played," Murray told BBC Sport. "All round it's been a good week so far and hopefully I can continue it tomorrow."

The Scot is yet to drop a set in the tournament but he still manages to rap his knuckles hard on his racket when he makes the odd mistake on court.

The TV cameras spotted blood on his shorts but Murray declared: "It looks a lot worse than it actually is - it doesn't hurt at all. I'll be fine tomorrow."'

The Scot was quickly into his stride against Ferrero and broke the Spaniard's serve in the opening game of the first set.

It was the perfect start for Murray, who quickly increased the lead by holding his serve comfortably in the second game.

Ferrero, ranked 90th in the world, struggled to cope with Murray's returns but just managed to hold serve when the tournament top seed found the net.

But Murray made it 3-1 with a superb drop shot and the Scot broke Ferrero's serve again in the fifth game.

It was a one-sided semi-final with Murray's class all too evident. The Briton easily held his serve once more to make it 5-1 in just 21 minutes of play on the centre court.

Ferrero managed to reduce the arrears to 5-2 with some fine cross-court volleys but it was only a temporary respite.

Although Murray double-faulted for the first time in the game, he soon made it 15-all and an over-hit return gave the Scot the chance to win the first set 6-2.

Ferrero looked certain to lose the opening game of the second set on his serve but fought back from love-40 to lead 1-0, showing the first signs of the form which catapulted the Spaniard into the semi-finals.

It was Murray's turn to wobble and a stunning rally ended with Ferrero making it love-30 thanks to a wonderfully executed back-hand drive.

But Murray was soon in front with two successive aces of 132mph and 134mph. It was vintage stuff from the world number three who went on to make it 1-1.

But the Scot missed an opportunity to break Ferrero's serve in the third game and struggled to make it 2-2 as the Spaniard finally woke up.

Ferrero played his best tennis of the semi-final at this point and Murray found it difficult to break the Spaniard's serve.

However, the breakthrough for Murray finally arrived in the seventh game when Ferrero's overhit return gave the Scot a break of serve and a 4-3 lead.

The match moved towards its inevitable conclusion when Murray's dominance put him 5-3 ahead.

Ferrero kept himself in with a chance of saving the set when he held serve to make it 5-4 but Murray finished him off in the next game to take the match 6-2 6-4.

The Scot has no preference as to who he meets in the final but Roddick, gunning for a fifth title at Queen's is favourite to make it.

"I've played Andy Roddick quite a few times and he's got a great record here. I won't pick one or the other but it will be a tough match whoever I play."

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